While students enjoy their summer, parents get ready for one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year, the Back to School shopping season beginning next month.  Every year between the months of July and September families spend hundreds of dollars on everything from apparel to electronics which accounts for the second largest amount of shopping dollars spent during the year, the first being the winter Holiday season.  The retail industry is now preparing for what could be a test of consumer demand and could also determine whether the economy has recovered since the recession.

Shopping Figures

1.    It is estimated that around 45% of families will spend close to $250 per child.
2.    The majority of this shopping season will be done in July & August.
3.    Over 38% of dollars spent will be during this time.
4.    Approximately 25% of consumers will spend more this year than the previous year.
5.    In 2008, The U.S. spent $54 billion on back to school shopping .

Google Insights for Search: Back to school shopping trends


The above graph represents that the month of August is the peak for back to school on an annual basis which is predicted for the upcoming shopping season in 2009.

When back to school shoppers start looking to their lists for supplies they’ll also be looking for great deals.  Like most consumers, the majority of them begin their search online.  There has been a definite rise in the percentage of people shopping online in the last two years.   An analysis of online shopping trends predicts that retail e-commerce sales will increase around 4% from last year.  Those looking for deals on apparel and electronics should find them on Bing shopping, Google Advertisements and Twitter search when looking for the latest products and deals.  This has been a great boost for online retailers.  Since the recession, price conscious consumers have also found price comparison websites to be very beneficial and due to this response they will likely see a rise in use.

For e-tailers to capitalize on the upcoming shopping season advertising will be the most important factor.  Search engine marketing and keywords will play a large role in reaching consumers. Using seasonal keywords in addition to product specific keywords will be beneficial.  Creating package deals for multiple related items associated with school shopping would also drive consumers.  Researching new and popular items of the season will be an advantage when attracting online shoppers.

1.    Kristina Knight (Big Report) “Study: Back to School Could Help Etailers”
a.    Study by Burst Media
2.    Jessica Wohl (Reuters) “Back to School Shopping to Test Retail Resilience”

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