Back-to-School Ready: 3 Mobile Messaging Strategies for E-Commerce Marketers

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Posted in
SMS Marketing
Published on
Aug 27, 2019
Written by
Elodie Huston
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This back-to-school season, more shoppers than ever are researching and making purchases on mobile devices.

This fall, 54 million children are heading back to school—and they’ll be ready! Households with K-12 and college-aged students are expected to spend $27.8 billion in preparation for the new academic year. While total spend is expected to remain relatively stagnant this year, more purchases than ever will be made online. Back-to-school shoppers plan to spend 29% of their budget online—a 7% increase from 2016.

As consumers prepare for the upcoming school year, they are relying on their mobile devices as the number one way to make online back-to-school purchases. 60% of back-to-school shoppers said they planned on using their phones to make a purchase, up 7% from the 2018 academic year. And 73% of households said they planned to use their phones to look for items.

You know that your customers use their phones to research and make purchases—but how do you stand out and boost engagement (and revenue)? Here are 3 tips to engage mobile shoppers as they kick-off the upcoming school year:

Incentivize shoppers

With so many items on their back-to-school lists, shoppers are focused on finding as many discounts as possible. In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte, 88% of shoppers said price was the most important consideration when making a purchase. Shoppers are willing to wait to make a purchase if it means they’re getting the most bang for their buck—71% say that they will wait for a deal, whether it be a discount, competitive price, or price match guarantee.

Most households make the majority of their back-to-school purchases during the first two weeks of August. But the back-to-school shopping season doesn’t suddenly stop Labor Day weekend—consumers will continue to stock up on essentials (…and some non-essentials!) throughout September.

Create campaigns that highlight any seasonal promotions you’re offering. Sending instantaneous, engaging mobile messages is a surefire way to capture your customer’s attention and ensure they feel like they’re getting the best deal possible.

A great example of a brand who sends engaging back-to-school text message campaigns is dorm room decor retailer, Dormify, a winner of Attentive’s summer edition of "Mobile Messaging Masters." From Friends & Family exclusive sales to VIP access and limited-time offers, Dormify sends timely, relevant offers that encourage shoppers to complete their purchases while ensuring them that they are receiving a great deal on their items.

Highlight product quality

Another important factor that back-to-school shoppers say impacts their purchase is quality. Consumers want to strike a balance between finding great deals and knowing the products they buy are worth it and will last throughout the entire school year. According to Deloitte, 47% of consumers rank product quality among the most important considerations when deciding where to shop.

Stand out during this busy shopping season by highlighting the products your customers (already) love. Spotlight one of your best sellers to help shoppers quickly find high-quality items. Alternatively, share product reviews of popular items—knowing that other people trust the product encourages shoppers to tap “add to cart.”

Drive in-store traffic

Back-to-school shopping is a tradition for some households, and they may prefer to have their students pick out fun items, like backpacks and binders, in-store. More than half of the parents surveyed said they would pick up items for themselves once they arrive in-store. This doesn’t mean these shoppers aren’t embracing mobile-first strategies, though. 51% of shoppers plan to collect coupons, discounts, and sales information on their mobile devices to use in-store.

Drive and maximize in-store traffic by sharing promotions that can be redeemed at cash registers. For example, using geo-targeting to send location-specific offers is an effective way to drive in-store traffic and create a relevant, personalized experience for shoppers.

As back-to-school budgets shift to be predominantly spent online, marketers need a smart strategy to engage mobile-first shoppers. These tips will help you (and your subscribers) get back-to-school ready.


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