With the 2019 back-to-school shopping season in the books (yes, we went there!), it’s no secret it has become a pivotal time in the retail industry as it allows retailers to test out new strategies as the holiday season looms.

This year proved that providing convenient options as well as enhancing the customer experience is the best way to move to the head of the class. Let’s take a look.

Easy as 1, 2, 3
Catering to what arguably matters most to time-pressed parents, retailers and brands introduced campaigns that made it easier than ever to purchase everything a student needs for the school year all in one place, and often with a quick click of a button. For example, Walmart’s “Buy the Room” concept, featured the curated collections of the most sought-after items college students want/need, making it easy for new students to buy everything with one  click.

Bed Bath & Beyond took it one step further with its Pack & Hold program. To diminish the amount of stress encountered on move-in day, students could choose everything they needed and have it shipped directly to the Bed Bath & Beyond store closest to their campus.

Retailers are not the only ones competing for consumer attention during the back-to-school season; marketplaces also recognized the importance of catering to students of all ages in order to capture more loyal members. For households with primary and high school students, Amazon rolled out its own “Happy School Year” store two weeks before this year’s Prime Day (July 15-16). Amazon positioned this as an opportunity to sign up more parents for Prime by attracting them with an expansive school supply assortment, lower prices and faster delivery turnaround well before the back-to-school rush.

One thing we know for sure: an enhanced in-store/online customer experience has become the gold standard for retailers so far in 2019. If back-to-school shopping is any indicator of what the holiday season will bring, we expect to see a renewed focus on convenience, combined with an enhanced in-store customer experience, which may ultimately become the go-to strategy for retailers looking to garner the classic yearbook superlative—most likely to succeed!