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According to National Retail Federation’s annual survey, the total combined spending for school and college is projected to reach $83.6 billion, a ten percent increase from last year.

To be competitive in this year’s back to school rush, business owners need to meet the demands of the digital-age shopper. A great experience begins with you and your staff and ends with the checkout experience. Here are a few strategies to maximize traffic and sales by utilizing all of the tools and techniques at your disposal.

Optimize Your Inventory

It’s not enough to make sure you have the season’s must-haves, but that you have the optimal inventory for these fast moving items. This can reduce operational costs and help you understand what goods you may need to purchase more of.

A perpetual inventory management system tracks your stock level so that you can take the guesswork out of how much inventory you’ll need the next time you place a purchase order. When real-time inventory reporting is deployed, you have a much more precise idea of what you should be ordering and when. That data can also help you forecast and clarify which purchasing decisions you should make, whether you’re tracking changes from month to month, season to season, or even year to year.

Be Online

eCommerce will be more important than ever before in making this year’s back-to-school rush a success. Children’s influence will play a large role in parent’s purchasing decision. In fact, 65% of back-to-school shoppers say the majority of their purchases are a direct result of their children’s influence, meaning that your store should be set up to sell to digital natives. It’s not just children that are use to online shopping and reading online product reviews but for those parents shopping online 54% plan to buy online and pick up in-store.

Offer Discounts

If you haven’t started promoting your back-to-school goods, don’t worry, because data from the National Retail Federation shows that parents are strategically waiting until the last minute to buy back-to-school goods. So timely promotions is key to driving traffic and increasing sales. With sales and transaction insights gained from the Hourly Sales report, it’s possible to identify optimal timing for a promotion to help eliminate dips in profitability. Data insights can also help merchants identify which items are experiencing softer sales and might see better movement with optimized pricing.

    • Volume Based Discounts: With Revel, business owners can maximize volume based discounts and meet specific goals by setting detailed parameters (e.g., buy any pair of pants, get 30% off any t-shirt).
    • Customer Specific Discounts: With the emergence of easy to use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for SMBs, owners are learning the power of managing customer information and leveraging it to offer incentives to their most valuable patrons. For back to school, this is a perfect time to create a discount for local students and support the school
    • Gift With Purchase: This is a great way to drive traffic to your store and help push high profit goods and get rid of excess inventory. With Revel, you can set parameters stating that if a certain good is purchased or a certain dollar amount is spent, the employee will be prompted to offer the free gift with purchase.

 

Which back-to-school items sold best this last year? Did one brand of apparel outsell the others? Were you left with backstock on a particular item? With Revel’s Intelligent Reporting Suite, you can stock up wisely based on your store’s specific selling trends.

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