Sunday, August 4, 2013

Integrate College Kids with Young Adults

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that retailers such as Target and Pottery Barn are turning toward college students for back-to-school (BTS) selling this year. The retailers are reasoning that BTS purchases for elementary through high school students are usually done once and it’s over, but those college students who move out from home keep shopping. They buy to decorate their new quarters and then continue to decorate, it’s thought. For BTS purchases overall, about 40% of shoppers intend to get all of it done in a single tour of the stores.
     From a consumer psychology perspective, it does make sense to consider college attendees separate from the younger students. However, with one important exception I’ll bring up in a moment, I don’t see college students as a significantly different psychographic than other young adults. In deciding how to sell to the college consumers, integrate what you already know about those in this age cohort who aren’t enrolled.
     The “2013 Back-to-College Survey” sponsored by the National Retail Federation and conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics finds that almost 50% of college students will be commuting to campus while living at home. This parallels what is true for young adults who aren’t pursuing higher education and indicates that, like them, the consumer values of the student’s family will hold sway.
     Those students do locate into a dorm, apartment, or Greek-letter house will buy furniture, just like other young adults will do when moving away from home. The NRF survey says that outside the category of furnishings for student residences, the BTS averages spent by college students are predicted to be less than last year. The state of the U.S. economy has impacted purchases, with about 38% saying they’re looking for discounts more often than in the past and about 32% saying they’ll buy more store brand and generic products. Again, this is similar to what other young adults are predicted to do.
     The important exception to college students being like all other young adults? It’s their interest in “brand ambassadors.” In a Barnes & Noble college marketing report, about 68% of the respondents expressed interest in being an on-campus representative to introduce other students to retail purchase possibilities. About 50% of students said they’d welcome help from brand ambassadors while settling into college.
     If college students are among your BTS targets, consider how you might employ on-campus “store ambassadors” to build business.

Click below for more: 
Include the Kids in Financial Literacy Talk 
Ease Into Changes with Store Ambassadors

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