It comes as no surprise that Canadian teens are taking over back-to-school online shopping in 2015, according to Ernst & Young forecast statistics. This generation has grown up in a digital shopping era where an eCommerce option is as natural as going to the mall.
It changes the shopping dynamic when teens hold the credit card. What appeals to them certainly won’t be the same as what appeals to their parents, and they aren’t too keen on store loyalty. They want what teens have always wanted, the cool stuff of the moment, and they want it right now. Give them a new twist on that cool item and they’ll be eating out of the palm of your hand. Today’s teens are somewhat reserved in their spending (as a lifetime of recessions have taught them to be), so expect them to look for ways to stretch the budget their parents give them.
Canadian back-to-school spending is expected to increase by about 4% this year, and most of that will be spent in Canada due to the low Canadian dollar. The Universal Child Care Benefit has practically guaranteed profits won’t drop in 2015, and may even be responsible for giving them a little boost. A higher cost of living and economic uncertainty will hammer down the urge to spend too much though.
Profits or losses will also be impacted by which Province you’re selling from, but if you ship across Canada you should be OK. If you’re only selling within your own Province or even more locally, this forecast predicts back-to-school sales will be lead by British Columbia and Ontario. Every other Province is expected to remain steady or be below the national average for back-to-school revenue this year.
Ernst & Young’s Back-to-School Retail Trends Forecast recommends:
- Video marketing
- Free shipping
- Discounts targeting teens 14-17 (Gen Z), preferably delivered by eMail or text messaging. Additionally, omni-channel is expected by this group.
- In-store pick-up of online orders appeals to both Gen Z and their parents.
- Flexible return policies are parent-pleasers.
I recommend online retailers target both parents and teens online this year, with digital marketing campaigns designed to appeal to each group. If you want to reach teens it’s important to be present on social media, both for campaigns and for customer support. We have 19 Ways for Canadian Retailers to Grab Online Back-to-School Sales with more suggestions that will help you now, and all the way through the 2015 Holiday Season.
Source: Ernst and Young Back-to-school Retail Trends Forecast
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