Last-Minute Back To School Ideas For Apparel Retailers
According to the National Retail Federation, one of the top 10 trends for back-to-school and college 2015 is procrastination. In fact, 30% of back-to-school shoppers are waiting until a week or two before school starts before they hit the stores for bargains. That’s up 25% from last year. Apparel retailers can take advantage of today’s opportunities by providing real help for these busy consumers.
What Are Your Customers Asking For?
Keeping track of the questions that staff repeatedly are asked is a good way to figure out the topics that will bring interest. Back-to-school means wardrobes have to be replenished, but there are often restrictions:
- Does your store have current dress codes for nearby school districts? Would there be interest in workshops or blog posts showing how your inventory can fit the school’s requirements?
- Do nearby schools now require uniforms? This is becoming much more common, and savvy apparel retailers provide what parents need to find before school starts.
- Would parents appreciate ideas for encouraging independence in their kids? Seminars on how to organize a kid-friendly wardrobe can make mornings less stressful.
- Are students doing their own shopping? Perhaps a Back-To-School fashion show and capsule wardrobes can help them stretch their budget.
- Are there customers looking for clothes that don’t have itchy tags or scratchy fabrics? Many students are so distracted by the way their clothing feels that they cannot sit still in class. Providing apparel that meets their need means your store is the source for future wardrobe items.
- Special needs clothing may not be something a retailer can stock on the shelf, but providing for these niche markets on the store’s website and offering free shipping for pickup can turn a question into a sale.
Be The Source For Last-Minute Help
Some of the help your customers need for back-to-school shopping doesn’t cost more than the paper & ink to print up local dress codes. Others take more time, like planning a workshop or writing some blog posts. Software for apparel retailers provides the tools to collect the information, isolate what is needed, analyze the data, and act.
Customer relationship management across all channels gives a comprehensive picture of what customers are asking for. Open-to-buy planning gives flexibility for last-minute inventory changes. Coordinate grouping functionality can group related items as a single entity, facilitating purchase, distribution, and replenishment. Cash flow is increased by the ability to purchase and replenish the product assortments those procrastinating back-to-school shoppers are seeking to buy. Future sales are ensured by providing the answers the customer needs today.