Retail Marketing: Don’t be Tardy Engaging Back-to-School Shoppers!

There’s still time to plan your retail marketing strategy to engage back-to-school shoppers and acquire them as customers as they make back-to-school purchase decisions.

  • As of June 2022, 78% of consumers in rural communities and small towns have not started their back-to-school shopping .

Shoppers who are waiting to shop are bracing for higher prices, especially as inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1% year-over-year in June:

  • 81% of rural consumers plan to spend the same or more in 2022 than the previous year.
  • 84% of back-so-school shoppers expect to see higher prices.

Back-to-school shoppers are adjusting their shopping behaviors in response to rising prices:

  • Over 75% plan to stick to lists and be more budget conscious
  • 43% of back-to-school shoppers plan to do more comparative shopping online
  • 42% plan to shop for sales more often
  • 35% will buy more brand/generic products
  •  24% will use more coupons

How can retailers win their share of ever-tightening consumer budgets?

Target them effectively with value-oriented offers in print, and increase reach and response with complementary digital ads.

In the past 12 months, back-to-school shoppers have responded to ads across a variety of channels and touch points:



63% have responded to ads/coupons in the mailbox




60% have responded to an internet banner ad or pre-roll video ad





65% have responded to a streaming TV ad




Extend reach and response with multichannel campaigns

Mspark has an unmatched relationship with our national audience through print solutions that our consumers value, and that enables us to create offer-driven action for our clients. With consistently high response rates, our print advertising solutions are the foundation of an effective multichannel marketing strategy.

Did you know?

  • Purchase intent increases 175% when your digital campaigns are anchored with print.
  • Print ads prompt shoppers to go online: 61% of consumers visited a retailer’s website after receiving a print ad.
  • Increase awareness and retention with print and digital touch points: Consumers are more likely to notice (52%) and –more importantly—remember (52%) ads they see in both print and digital formats.

When print is boosted by the extended reach of digital ads, they create a truly powerful combination that drives results.

  • Print + digital ads combined have demonstrated they increase response as much as 30%
  • Consumers who see an ad in print and online are 60% more likely to make a purchase.

Check out our retail case studies to learn how other clients have achieved results from a targeted, multichannel strategy. Connect with us today to plan your strategy to win back-to-school shoppers looking for value.

Sources: Morning Consult; National Retail Federation; Prosper Insights & Analytics; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; AdMall AudienceSCAN 2021; Millward Brown Print Campaign Analysis; USPS Consumer Mail Moments Spring 2020, Summit Research; Valassis Awareness to Action Study; Connecting for Action – Canada Post Neuroscience Report; Valassis Purse String Survey