Just when you think the Holidays and all the Back to School retail hustle was over, we make it to 2020 with our sights focused on what we need to do to make this year another record-breaking retail success.

We have combed through the numbers from 2019 Back to School and Holiday retail events to present you with a few stats that might be food for thought when planning 2020 retail campaigns. We’ll share our take and what we think will be important focus areas for 2020 events.

Here is what we found.

Cyber Monday Shoppers were 23% more likely than the average adult in the United States to say they’ve responded to ads/coupons in their mailbox in the past 30 days.

#1 – Cyber Monday Shoppers were 23% more likely than the average adult in the United States to say they’ve responded to ads/coupons in their mailbox in the past 30 days. (AudienceSCAN, 2019)

Our Take – This is a stat that really speaks to how influential direct mail is with Cyber Monday Shoppers. We know that direct mail is capable of driving online traffic and that retailers are using it to increase online sales. In fact, 58% of survey respondents in the U.S. stated that they received advertising mail from e-retailers in the past 12 months, 12% higher than the global average. (IPC Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey 2017) Direct mail is a great way to reach customers for Cyber Monday and we can show you how to do it in a cost-effective way.

Black Friday sales for buy-online-pickup-in-store outperformed non-BOPIS by 64%.

#2 – Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) was big in 2019 – Black Friday sales for buy-online-pickup-in-store outperformed non-BOPIS by 64%. (Adobe Analytics 2019)

Our Take – BOPIS has become a core component of retailers’ omnichannel goals, for good reason. 51% of shoppers who used BOPIS at least 2 times in the past 12 months made unplanned purchases when they picked up their online orders in-store. (OrderDynamics)

This seamless blending of customers’ online experience and offline experience is playing out in retail marketing as well where retail marketers are looking for new ways to reach consumers both online and offline. Direct mail is playing a big role in this omnichannel approach and we anticipate 2020 being a big year for direct mail promoting BOPIS for Thanksgiving Weekend events and Back to School.

29% of U.S. students in 2019 returned to school August 12-16.

#3 – August 12-16 was the most common week kids returned to school – 29% of U.S. students in 2019 returned to school August 12-16. (Pew Research Center, 2019)

Our Take – By August 2019, 77% of U.S. households with children still needed to purchase school supplies such as notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks, and lunchboxes. For retailers in 2020, that might mean pushing their promotions earlier so consumers can better spread out their budgets. It might mean promoting their BOPIS program so last-minute shoppers are less focused on battling the crowd to check items off their supply lists and instead are able to pick up their order along with a couple extras they found in-store and added to their tab. Whatever the week of August 12-16 means to you, we can help you target your messaging and timing so that it’s reaching the right people at the right time in 2020.

54.2% of households with children in the Mspark coverage area indicated they planned to shop online for back to school purchases.

#4 – Households with Children in the Mspark coverage area are Shopping online for Back to School – 54.2% of households with children in the Mspark coverage area indicated they planned to shop online for back to school purchases. This is higher than those indicating they planned to shop at discount stores (49.8%)

Our Take – Online ordering is becoming a favorite shopping destination for families living in geographical areas that lack access to diverse retail options. Residents in the Mspark coverage area tend to live in such communities and with growing technology adoption and broadband access, these families are taking advantage of the wide variety of brands and deals they are finding online. In 2020, retailers may see increases in online orders from parts of the country that are sparsely populated. We can help retailers reach more of these types of consumers.

41.3% of households with children in Mspark’s coverage area indicated they planned to shop Cyber Monday.

#5 – Consumers in Mspark’s Coverage Area Were More Interested in Cyber Monday than their Urban Counterparts – 41.3% of households with children in Mspark’s coverage area indicated they planned to shop Cyber Monday. This is 27% higher than their urban counterparts.

Our Take – Whether it’s back to school sales events or Thanksgiving weekend, the trend is clear – people living in less populated geographies want access to great deals from their favorite brands.

42.6% of % of back to school shoppers in the Mspark coverage area planned to purchase products for back to school using their smartphones and tablets.

#6 – Back to School Shoppers in the Mspark Coverage Area Planned to Make Purchases on their Smartphones – 42.6% of % of back to school shoppers in the Mspark coverage area planned to purchase products for back to school using their smartphones and tablets, 7% higher than their urban counterparts.

Our Take – Consumers in our coverage area planned to use their mobile devices to make purchases during back to school. These people are motivated buyers and they are online and likely looking for coupons and other ways to save money. They are at the mercy of the search engine and social media algorithms. That is…unless they arrive to your website as a direct traffic visitor. A well-crafted direct mail campaign in 2020 can make this happen.

55.9% of holiday shoppers in the Mspark coverage area responded “maybe” when asked if they had plans to shop specifically for Small Business Saturday.

#7 – Holiday shoppers in the Mspark coverage area were undecided when it came to plans to shop Small Business Saturday – 55.9% of holiday shoppers in the Mspark coverage area responded “maybe” when asked if they had plans to shop specifically for Small Business Saturday.

Our Take – Small businesses have many opportunities to reach consumers during Thanksgiving weekend, specifically Small Business Saturday. Turning those “maybe” responses into “yeses” in 2020 is doable. Not only do we team up with American Express and the nationwide Shop Small Movement, but we can help any small business propel their direct mail campaigns using sophisticated data analysis solutions. We’re here for small businesses and want to see them be successful during major retail events.

35.3% of back to school shoppers in the Mspark coverage area responded that coupons influenced their back to school shopping.

#8 – Coupons influence back to school shopping – 35.3% of back to school shoppers in the Mspark coverage area responded that coupons influenced their back to school shopping.

Our Take – Coupons continue to be a big influence for shoppers during back to school shopping. But that doesn’t mean other retail strategies wont work for back to school. One of the great things about direct mail is how versatile it is and how you can personalize it for your audience. For your 2020 campaigns, we can show you a variety of ways to craft a message that’s sure to resonate with consumers and lead them to take action.

38.7% of holiday shoppers in the Mspark coverage area responded that they planned to keep track of retailers’ promotions and sale using advertising circulars.

#9 – Holiday shoppers in the Mspark coverage area were tracking deals with advertising circulars – 38.7% of holiday shoppers in the Mspark coverage area responded that they planned to keep track of retailers’ promotions and sales using advertising circulars.

Our Take – Direct mail circulars continue to be the go-to place for tracking sales and promotions. While digital ads are important, it can be overwhelming keeping track of all the promotions that end up in the email inbox. Things get deleted or sent to the spam folder. Ads on social media can be helpful but cannot be saved – they seem to be geared more for immediate action. Ads in the mailbox really stand out and are “sticky”. They hang around for longer and are not as easily discarded. In 2020, retailers ought to consider direct mail ads as a way of ensuring consumers are being reached and this information is staying with them throughout the retail event.

And there you have it – 9 stats that help us better understand last year’s major retail events so that you can better prepare for 2020. We’d like to learn more about your campaign plans for 2020 and how direct mail might factor into your campaigns. If you have ideas or want to talk more about it, reach out to us anytime. We are always happy to share our knowledge with you to help make your next campaign a big success. Like what you read here? Download our infographic of these 9 stats for retail’s biggest events.

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