Back-to-School Trends You Might See This Holiday Season

Back in July, the National Retail Federation shared results from its 2011 Back-to-School survey conducted by BIGresearch: combined K-12 and college spending was expected to reach $68.8 billion, serving as the second-biggest consumer-spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays.

Back-to-school spending is often seen as an indicator to what retailers can expect during the holiday season, and the trends that we saw during these last week's of summer could quite possibly reappear in November and December. Here are some of the trends showcased in the NRF's Back-to-School survey that brands can anticipate seeing come the holiday shopping season:

Engage Pre-Teens & Teens
While discount stores continued to be the place of choice for back-to-school shopping, department stores found themselves near the top of the preferred shopping list as well. Why? According to NRF, department stores have done a great job of engaging some of their core consumers: pre-teens, teens and college-aged students. Thanks to private labels, promotions and innovative social media campaigns, nearly 60% of consumers anticipated making department store purchases showing that where teens go, moms usually follow.

Think Value, Not Price
Yes, the economy is still playing havoc with moms' purchasing decisions, with survey respondents stating they planned to spend less overall on back-to-school shopping and are spending more time shopping for sales. However, the survey found that parents were not opposed to spending money on products that offered value.

As Kathy Grannis mentioned in her NRF blog, "Today's back-to-school shopper is including factors like quality and service when deciding where to shop." Expect this trend to continue into the holiday season with mom looking to spend money on items that bring her value such as well-made clothing/toys that can last through multiple seasons or extended warranties on electronics.

Mobile Electronics: Not Just for Gifts
Smartphones and tablets will certainly be at the top of many gift lists this year, but brands should also make them part of their holiday marketing strategy. "Retailers are using everything in their arsenal to attract customers whenever and wherever they want to shop -- and mobile retailing is a big part of that strategy," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. Moms will be using their smartphones and tablets for everything from product research and retailer information to redeeming coupons and purchasing products. Make sure you have a mobile strategy.

With such little time between these two major shopping seasons, it isn't surprising to find that some of your back-to-school marketing strategies will also work well for the busy holiday season. What other trends do you see that will affect how mom shops this holiday season?

Tags: moms, retail
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1 comment about "Back-to-School Trends You Might See This Holiday Season ".
  1. Kevin Burke from WholesomeOne , September 14, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.

    I believe we will see unprecedented sharing of gift ideas and holiday deals through social media. Moms will be highlighting their finds and linking to them through Facebook, Twitter and blogs.