Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Back to School Clicking: Brands Taking Back to School Shopping Online

There’s no doubt that summer is flying by! And as we get closer to the end of July, brands will be gearing up for the annual back-to-school shopping season. Last year’s back-to-school shopping generated an astonishing $83 billion. This time of the year is a critical one for many brands, and two big-names in particular: Walmart and Amazon. These two heavy hitters have always been in fierce competition for the title of superstore champion, with Amazon owning the online biz, but Walmart still reigning supreme with revenue. In true competitive spirit, these two superstores have implemented some new and improved mobile strategies to help parents and students find the best deals and make back-to-school shopping stress free! Both companies are constantly competing within virtually the same market, so let’s see what Walmart and Amazon are doing to win over customers.

Fresh Back-to-School Features on the Walmart App
Walmart’s goal with their app is to improve delivery offerings and offer a “new school supply product assortment” to simplify shopping for the upcoming school year. In order to do this, Walmart made some tweaks to their mobile experience. The new features on the Walmart app allow parents to view and shop for their child’s specific school-supply list by using a smartphone to locate the items in store aisles. Another game-changing feature allows the parent or student to add the items to their cart straight from their smartphone and then utilize the Walmart Online Grocery Delivery service to have the supplies delivered directly to their homes. It’s amazing to think that all of your back to school shopping can be done without ever leaving your home! This back-to-school push comes as the discount chain seeks to beat back the growing threat from a familiar name: Amazon. With that said, what’s Amazon doing as it gears up for back-to-school season?

Amazon’s New Mobile Stores
The massive online retailer has announced new Back to School and Off to College online stores last week. It wants to focus on providing consistently low prices for all of the supplies and gear that both students and educators will need for the coming season. More specifically, Amazon is allowing parents to put a spending limit on their children, or simply approve the purchases before they are made final on the app. And for college students, the Off to College store allows students to purchase or rent their textbooks for the upcoming semester. Amazon has recently been in the spotlight for its Amazon Prime Day on July 16th, and with the addition of these back-to-school sales, Amazon’s customers have to be more than happy!

Back-to-school season is one of the busiest times of the year for many retailers. I’m looking forward to see how Walmart fares against Amazon this year when it comes to this busy shopping season. It’s clear that both of these retail giants know that they need to capitalize on mobile in order to win in the online space, and with retail trending upwards, this year’s back-to-school season should present a huge opportunity for mobile marketers looking to get in on the action.