As Summer winds down and reality begins to set in, families are running around getting things in order as kids and young adults get ready to head back to school and college. The second biggest shopping season of the year is not limited to just school supplies like pens and binders but includes apparel, dormitory items, electronics, and lots and lots of food. Let’s take a look at how retailers and restaurants can maximize their marketing efforts in order to capitalize on all of the customers out and about looking to buy.

With 29 million households across the United States planning to spend a total of $27.6 billion, the average household planned spending remains fairly flat this year (up to $510 from $501 in 2017). But the key is that 61 percent of back to school shopping is planned to take place in-store. The opportunity for retailers? $5.5B is still up for grabs, as 20 percent of parents’ back-to-school spend is still undecided between online and in-store spend.

“To capitalize on this shopping sprint, retailers should consider taking a closer look at where consumers are planning to shop, what items they are planning to buy, and how digital will likely influence their decisions.” -Deloitte B2S 2018

Now once school starts, the combination of work and picking the kids up from extracurriculars like sports practices, dance lessons, music lessons, and dr. visits can have you down right beat. This is the ideal opportunity for quick service and fast-casual restaurants to do the work for those busy parents and families that don’t have time to make dinner. By delivering a great experience and good food at competitive prices, fast-casual restaurants are the perfect spot to grab a quick and delicious meal. Couple this with expanded menus for every type of diet or restriction, and it then becomes something more than a quick in and out experience. Also, for QSR’s, once you have a diner on the premise there is greater opportunity to increase sales of more items like appetizer specials, drinks, deserts, all in addition to the core meal itself.

Don’t think this opportunity is limited to busy families either. College students have traditionally preferred a quick meal on a budget, but Millenials and Gen Z, in particular, are cooking less and eating out more. Fast-casual restaurants in and around college campuses can be deserted during the summer, but when September rolls around, the masses arrive and they’re looking to grab a meal all throughout the day and late into the night. Targetting college students on their mobile devices with deal and promos on food specials can certainly be the distinguishing factor to attract them to your restaurant and have them tell their friends and roommates about you. So capitalizing now as we settle into the start of the school year is crucial, and ShopAdvisor has all of the tools you need to get your mobile marketing campaigns up and running.

With various marketing techniques being used to gain an edge on the competition during this busy shopping time, ShopAdvisor can provide you with the capabilities to stand out and bring customers through your doors. Mobile proximity marketing and targeting both diners and shoppers on their mobile devices is a game-changer, especially when combined with our contextualized filters to provide promotions and product information that best fits what the customer is looking for. Speaking of product information, ShopAdvisor’s product availability intelligence also allows the customer to find out ahead of time if an item they are looking for is in stock, how much inventory a store has of it, item variations such as color and size, as well as any promotions involving that item. These key features provide shoppers the convenience of online shopping insights, with the convenience of buying an item at a nearby restaurant, or in-store.

Now let’s take a look at the digital influence according to Deloitte

  • More than half of shoppers research online before buying
  • The #1 use of social media during shopping both at retailers and restaurants is to find promotions
  • 27% of shoppers use social media to inform purchase decisions
  • 77% would use digital in-store technologies for value and convenience

Finally, remember that it’s not too late! 68% of customers complete their shopping within the final month before school, with plenty waiting until the last minute. Take advantage of this opportunity and reach out to ShopAdvisor today to find out how we can power your mobile marketing campaign.

To learn more about ShopAdvisor’s mobile proximity marketing solutions, click here

And to find out how ShopAdvisor provides proximity marketing solutions for fast-casual dining and quick service restaurants, click here

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