Back-to-School Study Guide: How Companies Make an A+ with BTS Shoppers
With every July and August comes a frenzy of shopper spending, as Americans across the country purchase No. 2 pencils, Snack Packs, blue jeans, and the whole kit and caboodle that comes with beginning a new school year.
Back-to-School (BTS) is a make-or-break moment for many companies, a time when the consequences of retail oversights or mistakes are compounded. For sure, many companies simply can’t afford to bring anything less than their A-game when purchase-minded BTS shoppers hit stores in the coming weeks.
Which is why we created a 7-question study guide to help brands and retailers prepare for the quickly approaching BTS shopping season. Time to bone up.
7 Questions to Help Companies Make an A+ with Back-to-School Shoppers
Question #1: Are your products actually available in stores?
I know, obvious, right?
Maybe not. According to RIS News, retailers lose a staggering $93 billion a year to out-of-stocks.
In fact, our own research at Field Agent shows shoppers consider untimely out-of-stocks among their greatest frustrations with shopping for school supplies, clothes, and the like.
At BTS, shoppers are in stores looking for your products.
Are your products actually there?
Question #2: Are your products and product displays where they’re supposed to be in stores?
Or maybe your products (and product displays) are available, but they’re misplaced inside stores. One study found that only 41% of store displays fully complied with company specifications.
Not something you want to overlook during the lucrative BTS shopping season.
Question #3: Can your would-be customers find your products in stores?
In other words, your products aren’t where shoppers expect them to be. They head to, say, electronics to find that calculator, but it’s actually to be found among the other school supplies.
A scary thought: Purchase-ready BTS shoppers can't find your product and, consequently, settle for a rival brand or substitutable product category.
Question #4: Can shoppers see your products on shelves?
Products are in stores? Check.
Products are in their proper places? Check.
Products can be found? Check.
But can shoppers see them?
Perhaps they’re situated too high or low, too far right or left on store shelves. They’re in a blind spot, at the worst possible time: with BTS shoppers in stores, looking to quickly grab whatever they can find and make a fast getaway.
Question #5: Is your in-store marketing being properly executed?
You pay a lot (in money and/or effort) for your in-store displays, signs, advertisements, demos, kiosks, and other forms of shopper marketing. Indeed, one source suggests brands spend as much as $1 trillion shaping the “in-store customer experience” through advertising and other efforts.
So, with BTS around the corner, it’s critical to make sure your POP marketing isn’t just spending money, but that it’s being properly executed by retail partners so it can also make money.
Question #6: Are BTS shoppers seeing the correct prices on your products?
Shoppers, of course, are incredibly price sensitive. Our own research at Field Agent shows price to be the single most important determinant of BTS purchases—more influential than quality, brand name, or convenience.
Which raises a critical question: Are your products properly priced in stores? A mispriced product can cost you sales now (because shoppers aren’t ready to pay the price they see) and well into the future (because shoppers have the wrong idea about your product).
Question #7: Do you have a better in-store strategy and execution than your rivals?
Or are competing products simply doing it better?
In short, your products may not be selling because theirs are.
BTS is won by companies with the best retail strategies and, just as important, executions.
Did You Answer “No” to Any Questions?
If you answered “no” or “not sure” on any of these questions, don’t fret. You’ve got an ally in the fight.
Mobile Audits excel at addressing problems like those above—before, during, and after the BTS shopping season.
Download our infographic to see how Mobile Audits crowdsource hundreds of thousands of smartphones to offer companies fast, affordable in-store visibility. Anywhere. Anytime.