End Of The Season Recap:  Back-To-School Shopping

BTSStores are already stocking up for the holiday shopping season, but before moving on to the next event on marketers’ minds, we decided to examine the back-to-school shopping season as a whole. We surveyed 402 Millennials as part of a post-BTS analysis, and gained insights about their purchasing habits, shopping influences, and some of the biggest trends they’ve noticed at school.

First, it’s important to know that Millennials are independent when it comes to shopping for BTS clothes, and they’re making most of the decisions about what to buy. Even those who went shopping with parents or other family members still made most of the decisions since they’re the ones wearing the clothes. On average, Millennials said 58% of their BTS shopping was done by themselves whereas a quarter of it was with family members and 17% of it was with friends. Moreover, 6 in 10 (61%) said they made all the BTS clothing shopping decisions and a quarter made most of the decisions. Overall, nearly half said they were personally responsible for all of their shopping, whereas 22% said they did most of it. This proves just how essential it is to reach Millennials directly since they’re deciding what stores to go to and what to buy.

In terms of timing, Millennials are hitting the stores later and later each year. While BTS inventory is out earlier and stores are attempting to lure in consumers with coupons and deals in the beginning of July, most Millennials aren’t focused on BTS shopping until August. Half said they began shopping for their BTS wardrobe at the same time as last year, yet 3 in 10 (28%) started shopping later this year. Those who shopped at the same time as last year reported that it’s convenient and August is the core part of the BTS shopping season. Others added that they wanted to get most of…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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