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Are Retailers Ready To Go Mobile For Back-To-School Shopping?


As kids go back to school, they're going to need a variety of products.

As kids go back to school, they’re going to need a variety of products.

The end of summer often means big sales for a variety of retailers. As kids go back to school, parents buy supplies, clothing and new electronic devices. College students can also be seen making purchases for their dorm rooms, and school districts may make bulk orders for incoming groups.

2016 should be no different. A recent eMarketer report found back-to-school shopping in July and August will increase 2.6 percent from the previous year in 2015, which also saw a 1.6 percent growth. E-commerce should play a significant part in these sales.

Another interesting trend is how consumers will research and buy school products online. As more shoppers use their phones at home and in store to make final purchases, retailers have to be ready to provide information and talk to curious customers on new platforms.

“Modern customers like to be informed.”

More online and mobile activities
The eMarketer survey discovered e-commerce back-to-school purchases should increase 15.3 between 2015 and 2016. While this increase is substantial in its own right, it doesn’t show all the many ways customers may use online resources while preparing for the coming school season.

Whether at home or in store aisles, businesses should expect more shoppers to make purchases and send questions through mobile devices.  A Think With Google report found the use of smartphones and tablets grew during the 2015 back-to-school shopping season, with 40 percent of online searches being conducted through mobile.

Modern customers like to be informed. They’ll research products before visiting businesses and comparative shop with phones while in stores. During these information gathering sessions, shoppers may try to contact a company, and the organization must be ready to reply.

Talking to shoppers on mobile devices
As more consumers use mobile devices to communicate, they turn to platforms popular with smartphone audiences. Customer Think gathered statistics that concluded customer service communication on Twitter grew 250 percent between 2014 and 2016. The majority of consumers also expect contact within one hour when sending messages on mobile devices.

The problem is not all brand are ready to talk to consumers through social media solutions and short message services. While brands have improved Facebook care by 13 percent between 2015 and 2016, about 90 percent of shopper questions on the platform go unanswered.

It’s important that all retailers are ready for online communications. Even when stores don’t have e-commerce channels, its likely consumers try to research and speak to organizations online. These businesses need to find customer care solutions to provide answers on preferred channels and on the go when preparing for busy seasons.


New support solutions needed as tech become ubiquitous

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