Back to School Means Back to Basics for Retailers

If your kids are like my kids, then summer never seems long enough (and allowance never seems to be large enough, but that’s a subject for a different blog). However, reality has set in and it’s time to go back to school. Which means it’s time for back to school shopping…along with more arguments about why doing your homework is more important than IM’ing your friends about the latest ‘cool’ CDs (again, the latter is a subject for another day and another blog).

One thing’s for sure: Mom and Dad are struggling with gas prices and food prices so they’re going to be making some tough choices when it comes to those back-to-school basics like clothing, electronics and school supplies…and…err…allowance (OK Rob, stay on topic please…this blog is about geo-targeting, not parental whining). Accordingly, retailers need to get back to the basics themselves and start merchandising more effectively if they expect to get their piece of the back-to-school sales pie. According to the National Retail Federation, the average family will spend $600 on back-to-school purchases. That’s a lot of bread, no matter you slice it.

With more parents (and kids with large allowances, for that matter…darn it, there I go again) shopping on the Internet — need I reference gas prices once more — retailers need to know there is an easy, cost-effective way to merchandise their products online through the geo-targeting capabilities of IP Intelligence technology.For those retailers interested in more targeted promotions and merchandising for their web sites, here’s a couple of freebie ideas I’ll throw your way:

  • Electronic retailers peddling those oh-so-important mobile phones can automatically promote the hottest selling phone in their local areas. This is especially important for teens and tweens who live whole-heartedly in that “me-too” generation.
  • School supply retailerscan automatically offer lists of tax-exempt items eligible for local sales tax holidays.
  • Big-box retailers can use online promotions to drive traffic to local outlets. Take for example the Hannah Montana promotion with Wal-Mart that encourages parents to log onto a microsite to register their child to get a call from Miley Cyrus (and, what parent doesn’t want their pre-teen to spend yet more time on the phone!) that encourages them to do well in school, etc. Wal-Mart could take that a step further and automatically provide a list of local Wal-Mart stores where the Hannah Montana products are sold.

I’m done with back to school, so it’s back to work for me…I think I’m going to start a new blog: www.rob-is-tired-of-dealing-with-whining-kids.com

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