New York (August 28, 2018) — Monetate, the worldwide leader in personalization, today released results of a Back-to-School survey that showcased buyer preferences for back-to-school shopping. The findings indicate that not only do consumers want personalized offers that leverage existing data on past purchases and key demographics to give them a better shopping experience, but also those who want such personalization have a propensity to spend more. Traditional offers like free shipping and discounts are effective in attracting customers, but impact overall profitability by lowering profit margins for retailers and do little to cement loyalty outside of the back-to-school shopping experiences. Adding in a personalization strategy can yield greater profitability and more loyal shoppers.

The study, conducted with Researchscape International, surveyed U.S. consumers with one or more children under the age of 23 in July 2018. Of the 536 respondents, 85 percent represent the primary party responsible for back-to-school shopping. Although online shopping in general has increased in recent years, back-to-school shopping remains mostly in-store. The majority (56 percent) of respondents shopped at brick-and-mortar stores versus 20 percent online, and only 7 percent on mobile apps for their children, but shopping months are varied. 

According to the survey, the majority of shoppers (48 percent) plan to purchase supplies in August. However, 38 percent shopped in July, 12 percent in June and 2 percent will shop in September. Only 18 percent of respondents had completed their shopping as of July, so there are plenty of opportunities for retailers to claim their share of revenue from the estimated billions that will be spent this year in back-to-school shopping.

Traditional promotions like incentives and discounts do drive consumers to stores, but adding in personalization is likely to increase sales and is in fact, welcomed by consumers. The study showed that 60 percent of respondents would welcome personalization offers and those shopping for middle school children were most receptive to personalized offers. Additionally, 78 percent of respondents said they were open to receiving product recommendations from retailers. Ultimately, the Monetate survey results showed that personalization drives greater sales and higher overall profitability, especially as household income level increase.

“The advanced personalization technology we provide drives better engagement and increases sales for the most trusted brands,” said Brian O’Neill, Chief Technology Officer, Monetate. “It’s clear that consumers welcome personalization for their back-to-school shopping and those retailers that embrace personalization will be the big winners – not just for back-to-school sales, but by building sustainable, loyal customer relationships.”

Retailers can still reap the benefits of personalization and product recommendations in their back-to-school strategy, even late in August. The September shoppers are just getting started. Learn how to easily integrate Monetate personalization solutions into your e-commerce techstack here.