The Placed Back-to-School Shopping: 2013 Trends study was based on a subset of over 12,000 survey smartphone respondents that have at least one child. And while the majority of shoppers planned and shopped before school opened, 11% plan to keep buying into September. Costco, J.C. Penney, Kmart and Sam’s Club are the chief beneficiaries of these late buyers, Placed metrics show. Macy’s, on the other hand, overindexed among those who were planning and shopping up to three months in advance of school.
The resilience of print, both in ads and in direct mail, strongly suggests the importance of cross-platform marketing plans for retailers. It also reminds everyone to keep emerging platforms in perspective. Consumers are omnichannel shoppers now. True -- about 2 in 5 back-to-school shoppers planned to use their smartphones to compare prices while in-store, the survey says, but that activity is just part of a more subtle multi-screen and traditional consideration cycle.
Among those who will be using smartphones as part of the shopping cycle, 48.9% told Placed they would be looking for coupons and discounts, 34.2% would want access to the retail or brand Web site, 31.9% want store locations and 30.5% would be making a shopping list.
Especially interesting in Placed’s survey is the affinity between mobile purchasing and specific brands. The company cross-indexed the 20.5% who said they planned to make a purchase on their phones this school shopping season with the stores those people tended to visit most often. It turns out that someone planning to make an m-purchase was 22% more likely to visit Macy’s than the average shopper, 22% more likely to visit Office Depot, 21% more likely to enter OfficeMax and 19% more likely to go to Best Buy. Perhaps not coincidentally, all of those brands have fairly advanced and fluid mobile shopping programs that lead to sales and in-store pick-up functionality that is better than most.