Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back-to-School Marketing in Full Swing

The battle for back-to-school purchases has begun. Major retailers like Walmart and Target have been airing commercials and using digital and mobile ads to highlight their seasonal offerings. Walmart's Classrooms microsite brings together supply lists from thousands of U.S. schools, ready for printing or to consult via cell while parents are in the store. Walmart is also using loss-leader school supplies to attract price-sensitive parents.

Walgreen's is part of the "reverse showrooming" trend, in which retailers use mobile coupons or online coupons to bring shoppers into their stores. Showrooming occurs when consumers inspect products in a store and then buy from an online retailer instead. Using sales promotions to encourage in-store shopping, retailers hope that impulse purchasing will increase the size of each shopper's transaction.

Best Buy has a clever idea: "Buy Boards" on major college campuses invite students to use their smartphones and scan the code of electronics products they want to buy. Buyers can have the merchandise delivered to their dorms or ready at a nearby store for pickup.

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