2017 Back-to-School Trends [Infographic] - ShopperTrak

2017 Back-to-School Trends [Infographic]

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With back-to-school in full swing, it’s time to re-group, check in, and review incoming reports on 2017 back-to-school trends.

Are you meeting company-wide sales goals — how about goals at the regional or market levels? Are your brand’s reported spending trends on track to match industry predictions?

To aid in the assessment process, check our ShopperTrak’s new 2017 back-to-school trends infographic. Download the infographic below for a fun way to review, not only, shopper traffic trends, but also the most relevant BTS 2017 predictions from trusted sources across the industry. Then, refer to our takeaways section to help make the most of the remaining weeks in the back-to-school season.

Yet, with 2017 back-to-school trends on the mind, how exactly, would retailers be best advised to make the most of the remaining BTS season? Here are three quick tips:

Don’t write off the weekdays

Our data indicates that Tuesdays and Thursdays are generally slower days during the BTS season, but knowing which days are slowest enables retailers to plan strategically. Be sure to not only reduce headcount, but to schedule deliveries and re-stocking spurts around slower traffic days.

On the other end of this, weigh whether it’s ideal to schedule your highest-converting associates for the busiest periods, or to leverage the best players when traffic is slow, as part of an effort to increase conversion. Relatedly, assess whether it’s reasonable to increase headcount with mid-performing associates on the floor during the busiest periods when shoppers are intentionally looking to buy.

Retain seasonal hires

Brian Field, ShopperTrak’s Senior Director of Advisory Services, has made an excellent – not to mention, financially savvy – case for retaining seasonal BTS workers through the holiday season.

Field contends that if a retailer has already chosen to acquire temporary help throughout both the back-to-school and holiday seasons, then it undoubtedly can be cost effective and better for operational efficiency to retain temporary BTS hires through both seasons.

“The time an existing store team must take from current tasks, coupled with the investment in bringing on an untrained new hire, is rarely considered beyond adding floor coverage hours during November and December in budgeting,” Field writes. For a detailed analysis of the case for long-term seasonal retention, read Field’s article here.

Start keeping records now

The importance of logging operational struggles and triumphs as they occur cannot be overstated. If you’re not doing so already, have store and district managers track traffic daily during BTS, so that they know what the busiest hours and days are. Don’t mistakenly lump all weekdays together, or assume that a Sunday will be busier than a Monday.

Becoming comfortable with acting on insights from traffic data naturally follows a period of getting well acquainted with traffic data – not to mention, making a daily traffic analysis part of one’s routine. When reviewing traffic trends,  keep a log of challenging moments on the floor or in the stock room, as well as times when associates went above and beyond. Summarize your findings immediately after the season concludes (while it’s still fresh!) and leverage the records for holiday staffing, associate incentivizing, and BTS 2018 planning.

Happy BTS mid-term — check out ShopperTrak’s 2017 Back-to-School Trends infographic below.

Click here to download the graphic and reveal content sources.

2017 Back-to-School Trends Infographic TO PUBLISH

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Read more posts by Bill McCarthy

Bill McCarthy is the General Manager of the Americas, in which he oversees regional efforts pertaining to the Traffic Insights business unit.

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