Back to School 2020: Helping eCommerce Handle Unpredictable Demand

July 14, 2020
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We anticipate a record-setting season for online sales of school products this year as nobody will want (or even be able) to stand in long lines due to the coronavirus. With 41% of consumers replacing in-store shopping with online, and a forecast 18% overall eCommerce jump in 2020, it’s extremely likely that these trends will heavily affect back to school promotions. 

So expect fierce competition this year for consumers’ back to school dollars, and look forward to unpredictable demand cycles as schools across the country open at very different times, depending on local COVID-19 conditions and government policies.

In fact, the timing of the back to school surge is difficult to estimate. Some parents will only buy last minute supplies once official return-to-class announcements are made, while others will want to buy early and take advantage of discounts (and avoid stock outs due to shortages in Chinese made goods). 

But one thing is certain – because of the surge in traffic and the intense competition, traffic hijackers will be out in full force to redirect shoppers to other promotions. 

Where will school shoppers spend their cash?

We took a look back at our customer web session data to see which verticals experienced the biggest increases in online sales leading up to the start of the 2019 school year. 

Looking at eCommerce sales from June 15-August 31 vs. May 1-June 14, apparel and fashion retailers indeed saw conversions nearly double, rising by 97.25%. But this was eclipsed by online electronics sales, who saw conversions spike by 100.63%. Online marketplaces and footwear retailers also made huge gains in online sales last summer.

Back to school top ecommerce verticals

Apparel and electronics also led the way in back-to-school purchases last year according to a survey by Deloitte. Pricing was found to be the most important consideration for back-to-school shoppers, while product features and convenience are of almost equal importance, while their perception of the retail brand comes last. Because back to school shoppers are looking for deals and are less loyal to any one particular brand, online retailers will be investing in promotions, coupons, and back to school offers to attract shoppers. But they also need to keep the attention of any shoppers that come their way through every means at their disposal, like special web pages that are created along with new product categories. 

Yet even these measures might not be enough. With the anticipation of intense competition, it is a certainty that traffic hijackers will rely on plenty of lower-priced promotions to boost their revenue – and they can show their lower prices to your target customers when they visit your website. 

The Cole’s notes on Customer Journey Hijacking

Traffic hijackers use ad injections to interrupt the shopping sessions of your potential customers with unauthorized product recommendations, pop-ups, and banners that appear on your eCommerce pages. These ads are injected into consumer browsers — as a result enterprises can neither detect nor stop these invasive disruptions.

The goal of Customer Journey Hijacking is to divert the traffic that you have earned to other sites so that traffic hijackers can profit via ad click revenue. Hijacking does serious damage to your bottom line – approximately 20% of all customer journeys are disrupted by unauthorized ads, which lower conversion rates by up to 5%.

Back to school online shopping behavior

Getting an Easy ‘A’ with your eCommerce customers

Namogoo’s Customer Journey Hijacking prevention solution is fast to implement, requires virtually no setup time or maintenance, and starts to work immediately at blocking ad injections — and keeping customers on your eCommerce site. Our solution features a rapid and significant ROI as undistracted shoppers follow the intended purchase path through your website and make a buy, which boosts conversion rates by 1.5-5%.

To support online retailers, we are offering our solution at no cost for the COVID-19 crisis period. 

Prepare today for the upcoming shopping season by getting in touch with Namogoo and ridding your eCommerce site of Customer Journey Hijacking, before it spoils your back-to-school sales efforts.

Make your journeys unstoppable