Post Categories: Essentials to Engagement

Setting Shoppers Up for Back-to-School Success

aug2015-essential-imgFor many families, back-to-school season is a time of big transitions. They say goodbye to the freedom of fun summer days and prepare for early morning wakeups and a bevy of activities to be added to the calendar. All of those changes—and supplies to go with them—add up to a lot of spending: $75 million per year on average, according to the National Retail Federation. In-store sampling and demonstration events can be a great way to capture a piece of the back-to-school selling pie while also helping ease the transition for families.

The first step for Sales Advisors is to consider how the products they’re sampling or demonstrating could be used at school in or in support of school events. There are lots of tie-ins beyond pencils, notebooks and juice boxes once you consider all the ways school impacts a family’s life. For example, there are early morning breakfasts, school lunches, after-school sporting events, back-to-school nights and teacher conferences. That means easy meals, portable, healthy snacks and the occasional treat for the teacher can all be fair game.

Next comes the art of helping shoppers see items in a back-to-school light. Sales Advisors can start by setting up their carts with a back-to-school theme using school supplies or school themed décor. They can then relate the product they are sampling to the back-to-school season in their sales pitch. For example, a Sales Advisor sampling fresh bakery muffins or frozen egg sandwiches could remind shoppers that these items are the perfect solution for hectic school mornings. Or, they could encourage shoppers to fuel up the student athletes in their life with the sports drinks, protein bars or granola bites they’re sampling.

While the focus of back to school is often geared toward younger students, Sales Advisors shouldn’t forget that college students are also often looking for helpful solutions this time of year. They can tout the convenience of frozen pizzas on busy study nights or ease of cleaning with disposable disinfecting wipes. Sharing specific uses for products like this is a great way to help shoppers see exactly how they could use them—and often gets them to make a purchase!