Youngsters aren't the only ones going back to school -- college students are too. Sears is targeting these students where they seemingly live, online and on Facebook, for a new "Back to Campus" social media campaign.
"[Facebook] is where this demo engages most of their time, not only from a social point of view but from a commerce [point of view] as well," Ross Glick, CEO of iNDELIBLE, the agency that created the campaign, tells Marketing Daily. "There's an opportunity here for Sears to not only improve their sales, but also to improve their customer loyalty programs."
The effort uses an application called the Campus Connector through which students can decorate a virtual dorm room with Sears products. Through the application, students can shop for products such as bedding, appliances, electronics and bath essentials, and place them in a virtual dorm room to be shared with others.
"Sears was one of the creators of the direct-to-consumer catalog business," Glick says. "And it seems like they're getting back to their roots. This is a way to bring them back to those roots in an innovative and social way."
According to the National Retail Federation, total spending on back-to-college merchandise is expected to reach $33.8 billion, per the group's Back to College Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. The average college student's family will spend more than $600 on new apparel, furniture, school supplies and electronics this year (about the same as last year).
The survey says most of the outlay will be on electronics such as computers, cell phones, MP3 players and cameras, followed by dorm and apartment furnishings, shoes, collegiate-branded gear and school supplies.