Commission Junction unveils its annual US-centric back to school report. It reveals that for the last two years, sales peaked in two very distinct periods. This year retailers are set to witness the most business from August 19th to 25th as well as the days between the 2nd and 8th of September.
Unsurprisingly, the report’s historical figures show consumer electronics, hardware and software retailers being privy to a spike during mid-August. The same market segment also recorded a secondary bump in late September. It wasn’t alone: bed and bath retailers also noted an upsurge in activity during the same September window, presumably as students kitted out their new accommodation.
One sector you’d expect to see a lot of activity as youngsters head back to the classroom is clothing, and the Commission Junction report confirmed this. It indicated heavily concentrated periods of purchasing in the apparel sector during late August and early September.
The report also provides guidance on the best way for advertisers to take advantage of this time. The affiliate network states that consumers are price-conscious and heavily research their purchases, so creating a blended back to school strategy with the greatest possible exposure is vital. Coupon, loyalty and price comparison, affiliate websites and paid search should all be utilised.
Last month BIGInsight conducted a survey on behalf of the National Retail Federation. It found that 31% of shoppers with children in K-12 say they will do more comparative shopping online, while nearly 17% said they would shop online more than in-store. Interestingly there’s been substantial growth here as the figures are up from 15.3% last year.
Commission Junction’s VP of Analytics, Heather Pilat, spoke of the big part that affiliates can play during consumers’ pre-sales thought process. “Given its broad distribution, the affiliate channel provides advertisers with the opportunity to effectively reach Back to School consumers throughout their decision-making process, which lasts late into the summer,” she said.