Do social influencers have the ability to boost back-to-school sales?
Kids have always had ways of coaxing their parents into buying them stuff. Now, young students also have the force of social media influencers behind them, and the added peer pressure seems to be making parents even more likely to purchase what their kids are demanding during the back-to-school season.
Slightly more than half of parents said that they end up buying back-to-school products that their kids are asking for based on social media influence, according to a study by The Harris Poll reported on NerdWallet. The increased pressure from a whole world of social influencers, as well as friends, about what school supplies and clothing to buy appears to be transferring to the adults making the transactions — even if it means overspending.
Back-to-school splurges may also be an emerging trend, with 93 percent of parents reporting having overspent last year on back-to-school shopping. (Only 50 percent admit they’ll be likely to splurge this year.)
The degree to which social media influencers impact sales is a matter of debate, as it is difficult to determine how much a given social media personality’s endorsement of a product actually results in followers buying the item. Back-to-school would make sense as a place where social influencers could have a great deal of power, though, given the age of the audience and the desire to fit in.
Social sites aren’t the only players changing the shape of the back-to-school landscape, though. Amazon.com’s Prime Day has become the number one event for back-to-school shopping, according to research by RetailMeNot. The 36-hour July retail holiday has outpaced both the first week in August and Labor Day weekend in spending. The same research indicates that households with children in elementary, high school and college are all projected to spend more on back-to-school shopping than in 2018.
It’s perhaps no coincidence that Amazon.com is one of the online retailers that has seen the value of social media influencers for back-to-school sales. The company has partnered with popular social media personalities like Ava Phillippe and Olivia Jade to promote back-to-school storefronts.
- Back-to-School Shopping: Kids Influenced by Social Media Push Parents to Overspend – NerdWallet
- Has Prime Day become America’s cue to shop for back-to-school? – RetailWire
- What real value are influencers bringing to retailers and brands? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What role should retailers and brands take in harnessing the power of social media influencers on back-to-school sales? Do you expect social influencers to fuel bigger back-to-school seasons in the years ahead?