Shops: How to Leverage `Back to School` Shopping as a Small Business

The kids are heading back to school next week, which means you can expect the last rush of mummy and daddy shoppers! According to Small Business Trends, more parents are starting to shop later on when the sales start to avoid splashing hundreds of pounds on the full works. Unless you are a predicted top seller like Tiger, Smiggle, Primark or B & M- it’s time to roll those sleeves up!

1. Offer deals on essential items

With an inflation rate of 2.6% on school supplies since last year, it is no wonder parents are waiting until the school year has begun to stock up on jumpers, shoes and PE kits. Slashing the price of essential items such as pencil cases, book bags and apparel is a no-brainer and is especially attractive to parents with more than one child. Since the launch of Aldi and Lidl’s ultra-low-priced school uniform ranges (Fung Global Retail & Tech), retailers can expect some pressure to keep prices of their own products comparatively low. You might not be able to kit out a child for £3.75 like Aldi, but you might have other irresistible offers up your sleeve.

Top tip: Keep an eye on your competitor’s price tags, even a few weeks into the new term.

2. Do your research

Don’t be afraid to liaise with local schools to see what this year’s uniform entails. Being proactive in this sense will make the whole buying process easier for schools, parents, and even for you as a business. Once you know that the grammar school down the road will only allow all-black shoes with no heel, you can start to display products of this kind. If reaching out to schools isn’t an option, strike up a conversation with customers coming in and out of your shop to decipher a trend or two.

Top tip: Watch the internet for `reaction buy` products. You know how it is- school starts and children are bound to hamper their parents for the latest stationary craze or a pair of trainers that all their friends are getting.

3. Be talkative on Facebook

According to Adweek, 90% of `millennial` mums and dads are likely to seek parenting advice online, so make yourself available! Answer questions about uniform costs, share articles about back to school dates and provide useful information that you know your customers will relate to.

Top tip: Join popular forums online (such as netmums) to see what your customers are talking about, and follow regional and national newspapers for great articles to share.

4. Deliver great customer service

With many products being sold cheaply by leading discount chains, you might not be able to keep up if you rely on your prices alone. Going the extra mile for your customers to give them exactly what they need could do the trick, though! Work on that Cheshire Cat grin and get well and truly stuck in.

Top tip: Make your returns and refunds policy easy; back to school shopping is stressful enough already.

5. Retail Shop Insurance with The Insurance Octopus

Every shop is unique and therefore each business demands are different. At The Insurance Octopus we understand this and this is why we tailor our retail shop insurance packages to meet your specific needs. We can even give you increased stock cover during peak periods if needed, in some cases for no additional cost.

We have a friendly team of insurance experts on hand to make the process of buying insurance for your shop stress and hassle free.