More than three-fifths of school-related spending happens this time of year, according to a new Deloitte report on the 2019 back-to-school shopping year, but the way people are shopping looks nothing like it did before. Parents and students will spend $27.8 billion on back-to-school shopping this year, per the report, averaging $519 per child. And while brick-and-mortar shopping still rules (for now), mobile shopping is having a major moment.

Three-fifths of back-to-school shoppers will browse products, search for deals, and look up reviews on their mobile devices this year, up seven percentage points over 2018 (53% to 60%), according to Deloitte. Nearly half of these shoppers will use their mobile devices to make a purchase, marking 2019 as the first back-to-school season where shoppers are as likely to buy via smartphone as they are via laptop or desktop.

With back-to-school shopping in full swing, now is the time to get on top of your game. Be sure you’re ready for the masses who are shopping on their mobile devices for the 2019-2020 academic year — below is a quick “cheat sheet” to help ensure success.

Advertise Deals

According to Deloitte’s survey, 88% of back-to-school shoppers point to price as the most important factor when making a purchase.

Deals are abound this season. Brads Deals’, for example, found more than 270 stores offering discounts to shoppers with a college ID, while big box retailers like Target and Walmart usually mark down school supplies by 30 to 90% in the first week of September.

You’ll need to offer your own discounts to compete while honing your mobile advertising strategy to focus in on these deals. With mobile ads that play to consumers’ price-consciousness this time of year, you should see a major payoff.

Offer Convenience with Omnichannel

While buyers are expected to spend $8.1 billion online (including via mobile channels), they’ll be spending $15.7 billion in store.

Nevertheless, the high number of shoppers who browse on mobile devices (60%) and desktops and laptops (42%) suggests a need to integrate online browsing with in-store purchasing. Here’s where your omnichannel strategy comes into play. Make it easy for shoppers to find what they need in store after researching products online, and offer online checkout with in-store pickup for maximum convenience.

Get Social

Social is a smaller — yet still formidable — piece of the back-to-school pie, with 19% of consumers using social media channels to shop this time of year. Make it part of your omni-channel strategy.

Generation Z uses social shopping the most. And, when it comes to back-to-school shopping, there’s no one you should focus on more. The parents may hold the purse strings, but they admit their Gen Z kids will likely influence $20 billion of the total $27.8 billion (72%!) in back-to-school spending this year.

Get to the students, it seems, and the parents will follow. 

Engage with Mobile Video Advertising

According to a recent eMarketer forecast, mobile video ad spend will nearly double in the next few years to reach $25 billion in 2022.

The format is especially popular with those Gen Z viewers who will be driving so much of back-to-school sales. These young viewers spend an average of 2.9 hours a day watching videos on their phones, and 23% have made a purchase directly after watching a video ad on a brand’s social media channels.

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