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What Retailers Can Learn from Back-to-School Shoppers

Posted on 9.01.2015

With Labor Day right around the corner, most kids have either settled into their new classrooms for the year or are anxiously awaiting their first day, which means most retailers have moved their attention from back-to-school promotions to their holiday campaigns. There are a few lessons, however, that merchants should take with them into the gift-giving season.

For starters, customer experience firm LoyaltyOne Consulting found that, unsurprisingly, poor customer service puts holiday revenue at risk. More specifically, households with kids under 18 are nearly 20 percent more likely to be annoyed when retailers make insufficient information available near a displayed item, risking more than $500/quarter in additional spend.

Online retailers should take this information as evidence to invest time in building out their product pages, as these are their virtual displays. Essential features of a product page include reviews, recommendations, good visuals, and shipping and return information.

LoyaltyOne also found that shoppers for kids-under-18 households were 57 percent more likely than the general population to say waiting too long to be served detracted from their shopping experience. Online, this means that retailers need to ensure their landing pages don't take too long to load, that their checkout process is painless (offering guest checkout should be a consideration) and that help is readily available if needed, such as through live chat or frequently asked questions (like with AnswerDash).

“Understanding the negative impact of problem experiences on consumer spend is critical for retailers. These insights can help retailers identify the customer touch points that most impact back-to-school shoppers and proactively address them to protect consumer loyalty during the back half of the year,” says Paula Courtney, President of Verde Group.

It's important that retailers provide a seamless browsing and buying experience during these busy months, as shoppers are more likely to try new stores for access to a wider selection of goods. If presented with a good experience, they may return January through the summer.

Improving customer loyalty all year should be atop a retailer's list, so they may want to consider launching a loyalty program that rewards shoppers and makes them feel good about purchasing with the brand. What's more, customers are more than willing to join, as they are in more programs than ever. For further reading, check out these Web-only loyalty programs


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