Attention Back-to-School Shoppers

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Here we are – mid-July, lush gardens, warm weather, barbecues and picnics with friends and families.  The mid-point of summer and the year are now over.  This means only one thing – back-to-school shopping is in full swing!

While it may seem difficult to believe, go into any retailer of clothing, shoes or office supplies and the deals are just starting as the school shopping season runs from July through September.  These retailers, whether they have a national footprint or one location on Main Street, have the same goal – to reach potential shoppers, get them to their location and shop. Why? Because back-to-school shopping is the second biggest shopping season for retailers.  And according to the National Retail Federation, 2017 back-to-school (BTS) shopping was expected to reach $83.6 billion.

As the medium that touches busy parents of back-to-schoolers throughout their day, radio can help drive traffic for back-to-school sales.  Specifically, more parents of children 12+ tune in during the workday hours than any other time – peaking during the 3-7pm time period.  Radio’s primetime is during the traditional workday hours.

With the peak of listening occurring toward the latter part of the workday, radio is the perfect medium to remind parents to stop for back-to-school supplies on their way home.

When these parents shop, what are they buying?  According to a 2017 Deloitte survey, parents were expected to spend nearly $500 per child on back-to-school shopping on average.  While clothing and school supplies dominate BTS shopping, parents also purchase computers and hardware as well as electronic/tech gadgets.

With these types of spending levels, we thought it would be good to look at the spending/purchasing habits of radio listening parents.  Based on the latest Scarborough data, parents with a child 18 and younger, radio reaches:

  • 94%
    • Who spent $100 to nearly $500 on athletic shoes (past year)
    • Shopped any office supply store (past 3 months)
    • Plan to buy a desktop/laptop or tablet (next 12 months)
    • Plan to buy a smartphone (next 12 months)
  • 93%
    • Spent $100 to nearly $500 on children’s clothing (past year)
    • Purchased computer hardware/software (past year)
    • Shopped any bookstore (past 3 months)
    • Plan to purchase wireless/cellphone service (next 12 months)
    • Plan to buy a smartwatch (next 12 months)

We know that radio touches the lives of millions of people.  Radio is also a medium that reaches and is tuned into by parents of school-aged children.  As BTS shopping goes into full swing, radio is the medium that will help inform and promote deals to potential shoppers as well as drive store traffic and increase sales.

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