Merchant Warehouse Back to School Survey | Findings - Consumer

Merchant Warehouse |

July 7, 2014

 MW Back to School Survey

Back-to-school is the second biggest shopping moment of the year, behind only the holiday season. This year, Merchant Warehouse surveyed over 700 consumers to learn more about their shopping habits and intentions. Some of the findings confirmed long-held theories about consumer behavior, while others proved surprising. Learn more below.

 

Consumer Loyalty is Real

During the back-to-school shopping season, consumers are likely to shop at the same stores they’ve shopped at in the past, with 85 percent of consumers typically shopping at the same retailers, year after year, for back-to-school items.

However, for retailers looking for new customers, there’s good news: consumers loyal to a specific retailer are willing to make a switch given the right incentive. If offered a promotion or reward, 65 percent of consumers are “somewhat likely” and 26 percent of consumers are “very likely” to shop at a store they don’t typically shop at for back-to-school items.

In fact, when it comes to selecting a retailer for back-to-school shopping, 53 percent of respondents said that price is the biggest determining factor. This doesn’t hold true for all times of the year, interestingly enough: 41 percent of consumers said they’re more price sensitive during the back-to-school shopping season than other times of the year, and 45 percent said they’re more driven to shop at a retailer based on their sales, discounts or promotions during the back-to-school shopping season than other times of the year. 

This kind of information should help retailers figure out what they need to do to retain loyal customers and pull in new ones during this unique shopping moment.

 

FINDINGS

  

FINDING 1: Consumers are loyal to businesses they’ve shopped at for back-to-school items in the past, with 85 percent typically shopping at the same retailers, year after year, for back-to-school items.

FINDING 2: Promotions and rewards will sway consumers to shop at a store they don’t typically shop at during the back-to-school shopping season, with 91 percent of respondents “somewhat likely” or “likely” to shop at a store they don’t typically shop at during the back-to-school season if offered a discount or reward.

FINDING 3: Back-to-school shoppers are extremely price sensitive, with 53 percent stating that price is the biggest determining factor when deciding where to shop.

FINDING 4: Price matters more during back-to-school than other times of the year, with 41 percent of respondents stating they’re more price sensitive during the back-to-school shopping season than other times of the year, and 45 percent stating they’re more driven to shop at a retailer based on their sales, discounts, or promotions during the back-to-school shopping season than other times of the year.

FINDING 5: Consumers’ most preferred method of redeeming discounts is a plastic loyalty or rewards card, with paper punch cards being the least preferred method.

FINDING 6: 66 percent of consumers are likely to sign up for a retailer’s loyalty program during back-to-school shopping if offered a discount at the checkout.

FINDING 7: Most consumers shop at the same stores during the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons, with 58 percent shopping at more than 60 percent of the same stores for both shopping seasons, and 81 percent shopping at more than 40 percent of the same stores during both shopping seasons.

FINDING 8: Most consumers use 1-5 loyalty programs each month.

FINDING 9: Consumers are more likely to buy back-to-school items in-store than online, with 69 percent typically purchasing in-store, two percent purchasing online, and 29 percent purchasing a mix of in-store and online.