The ABCs of BTS
When I was a kid, back-to-school shopping was a simple process. It meant a mortifying trip to the Sears Husky Department for jeans that were uncomfortably stiff and unfashionably dark, followed by the glorious opportunity to get a new Trapper Keeper.
The Trapper Keeper (choose from hundreds of cool designs!) held color-coordinated folders, memo books, dividers, loose notebook paper, even pencils and pens. The must-have middle-school accessory, the Trapper Keeper moved me a few links up the popularity chain, and fed the budding OCD within.
Today, it takes more than an over-designed student organizational system to satisfy a kid’s BTS cravings. (Though the Trapper Keeper is back! Boom!) Young scholars do need a lot to start the school year. And they want even more. Mom needs to make the most of her dollars, and she doesn’t want to spend endless hours doing it.
What we all want is to avoid a meltdown (from parent or kid) at the colored pencils display. To that end, here is a primer of strategies, ideas and inspirations for the BTS retail marketer:
Assortment. Offer many choices and ample stock.
Buy-one-give-one. Shoppers respond to personalized cause marketing.
Coupons. Moms are looking for them.
Delivery. A deal-breaker for many.
Email. Connect and provide value prior to store visit.
Free shipping. Now expected by many.
Geo-targeting. BTS shoppers seek what is nearby/local.
Hand-holding. Anticipate and answer any questions.
Incentivize during search. Most will research online and buy in-store.
Join. Create opportunity for shopper involvement/engagement.
Keyword. Search is particularly important during BTS.
Loyalty. Reward VIP shoppers.
Mobile. Has become the most important tool in BTS marketing.
Noise. Rise above it; it’s a crowded space.
Online. It’s here where shoppers do their research. Lose them here at your peril.
Post-click engagement. Sync in-store to online; sustain the experience.
Quality. It’s a given. You get one shot; make it good.
Recommendations. Shoppers actively seek the opinions of others.
Sponsorships. Connect with allies and enhance the shopper experience.
Target. Create specific messaging for each audience.
University. College students make up the biggest segment of BTS shopping.
Visual. Strong, bold imagery tells the story.
Word of mouth. Do something deserving of conversation.
X-rated. Just checking to see if you’re still with me.
YouTube. Provide added value with product demos, testimonials and how-to vids.
Zero hour. It’s happening now. BTS “season” is a thing of the past.