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Looking for a college-bound influencer? Look on YouTube

Dorm HaulYou may think that big chains like Walmart, Target and Staples control back-to-school shopping but the real power is in the hands of the YouTube haulers.

These young women have the eyes and ears of the older teens headed off to college and the younger teens who are dreaming about the future. Sitting in their sparkly bedrooms, they show off everything from hangers to sheets, to communal shower must-haves and tools for whipping up a “no kitchen needed” snack.

Think Google says that searches for “back to school haul” on YouTube are up 70% this year. Searches for “dorm hauls” on YouTube doubled in the first 10 days of August.

Here’s the most honest back-to-school infographic you’re ever going to see

ShoeBuy Back to School 1My back-to-school shopping days are over but it all came back to me when I visited Staples last week. I was there for printer ink but I couldn’t resist the four foot stack of 17 cent spiral notebooks and the racks of Disney character folders and the bins of colorful school tools. I didn’t need any of it but I want it. . . all of it. . . it’s a crazy emotional trigger made worse possibly by the fact that I was a teacher for 10 years.

Then I heard a conversation that reminded me of the real meaning of back-to-school.

“Mom! I NEED this one!”

“That one is too expensive. Get the other one.”

“That one doesn’t have Transformers on it! And Mrs. Shipley says I need 8 notebooks.”

Millennials are changing the way we shop for cars

Thinking about buying a new car? A generation ago, you would have influenced by a TV commercial, then you’d spread out the newspaper to help you hone in on the right car at the right price. Final step – it’s off to the local dealership to buy the car of your dreams.

That last step is still the same, but a new survey from AutoTrader says that the new generation – the Millennials – have abandoned TV ads and newspapers in favor of the internet.

AutoTrader Infographic

What’s really interesting is that 70% of Millennials begin the car shopping process without a clue as to what make or style of car they want. They go online and start the process and spend an average of 17.6 hours “shopping”. That’s two hours longer than the average car buyer.

Digital coupons ‘close the deal’ for 80 percent of consumers

In a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of RetailMeNot, the majority of consumers said digital coupons were more likely to influence their purchase decision than any other type of promotion.

Retail Me Not Coupon Report 2014 2Note that coupons are way more influential than sales. That’s crazy. Maybe that’s because people view sales as a discount on items the store wants to sell versus items they want to buy. A 40% off one item coupon gets me that pricey item I’ve been longing for. A 40% off summer clothes only gets me a good deal on the leftovers. (Not always true but I’m trying to work through the thought process.)

The State of Digital Coupons” study makes coupons sound like the superheros of the ecommerce world. Let’s all remember that RetailMeNot is a coupon / promo code site. . . and with that in mind we’ll look at a few more facts.

After rewarding customers for slower shipping, Amazon offers same-day in more cities

o9rdPbS-postman-rgb-vk050Amazon, you’re confusing me. Last week, you offered Prime members a $1 video bonus if they passed on their Prime privilege in favor of a slower shipping option. We all assumed it was because you couldn’t keep up with the shipping load. And if you can’t keep up now, in the summer, the slowest time of the year for eCommerce, what’s going to happen in November?

I was worried about the stress all this fast shipping was causing you, so I chose the slower method for my last order and so did my son. Now, I see that you’ve expanded your Same-Day shipping service to Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC metro. What gives?

How mobile and digital are impacting back-to-school sales

Deloitte Back to School Infographic 3Even if you don’t have school-age children, you can’t help but get caught up in this time of year! Pencils. Notebooks. 3-Ring binders and paste. Wait. . . do kids still use paste in school? That thick stuff that looks like sticky marshmallow fluff? (Extra points if you remember that brown liquid glue that came with the chisel tip, rubber top.)

I know I’m always singing the “Times Have Changed” blues, but it’s true. Even back-to-school shopping isn’t what it used to be and I have Deloitte to back me up on that.

Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution practice leader says;

Back-to-school shopping is a family affair [Infographic]

Families Shop Together BaynoteMom might have control of the wallet but when it comes to back-to-school shopping, what they buy is a family affair.

According to a new study and infographic from Baynote, 70% of parents will bring their children along with them when they shop in-store for back-to-school supplies.

Only 36% include their children when they shop online but here’s an interesting thing; though most back-to-school shopping happens at a brick and mortar store, the percentage of online shopping increases as students age.

On average, respondents say 64% of their shopping will be in-store, the rest online via computer or mobile device. But the online percentage is much higher when people shop for college students.