Mobile Back-to-School Sales are Soaring – Are You Cashing In?

By Trace Ronning | August 16, 2016

Back-to-School shopping, the second biggest shopping season of the year, is here. This year, US parents are projected to spend $65.4 billion making Back-to-School purchases online, with mobile accounting for 33% of ecommerce sales. August, the biggest month for Back-to-School shopping, also happens to be one of the most lucrative months for shopping apps to acquire new customers, making it a smart time to spend on user acquisition.

If you haven’t ramped up your marketing activity for August yet, here’s what you need to know going into the second half of the month, when many shoppers will begin their Back-to-School shopping.

August is one of the best months for acquiring mobile shoppers

Retailers and ecommerce businesses that invest in mobile user acquisition in August are typically rewarded with high value customers. In the Liftoff 2016 Mobile Shopping Apps Report, we found that 5.7% of all users who install a shopping app during the month of August will make a purchase, 32.6% higher when compared to the yearly average.

Acquisition costs are also much lower in August. During July, when Back-to-School shopping kicks off, shopping apps pay $144.60 to acquire a new shopper. In August, that number falls to $115.91. Combined with a high install-to-purchase conversion rate, August is an ideal time to focus your ad dollars on bringing some new shoppers on board.

Parents are shopping on mobile more than ever before

With 60% of parents using mobile devices for Back-to-School shopping, retailers and ecommerce businesses would do well to capitalize on the shift to mobile for shopping. Retail apps, specifically, have become an integral part of the shopping experience, as 40% of parents are using at least three shopping apps this Back-to-School season, according to Rubicon.

Not only are more parents using shopping apps this year, they’re making a significant number of purchases on mobile. 30% of parents are making at least ¼ of their purchases on mobile devices. When you consider that on average, parents are spending $917 per child, it means shopping apps have the opportunity to bring in some serious revenue.

Men do more of their Back-to-School shopping on mobile than women

41% of men are making at least a quarter of their purchases on a mobile device compared to 24% of women, according to Rubicon’s study on Back-to-School shopping behavior. It might seem odd that men are suddenly more active mobile shoppers than women this time of year, but we reviewed our internal data on shopping apps and it checks out.

During the month of August, male consumers are 10.6% more likely to complete a purchase in a shopping app than females. On top of that, it costs 16% less to acquire male shoppers during August, making them an attractive target for retailers.

So, if you want to attract customers who are most likely to spend in your shopping app this Back-to-School season, targeting males is a great option.

With 2+ weeks left in August, there’s still plenty of time for retailers to cash in on the flood of parents shopping for the upcoming school year. Keep these tips in mind to close the Back-to-School shopping season with a bang.