How Are Staples, Walmart, and Target Dominating Back to School on Social?
Not many people know that Back to School is the next biggest shopping season after the winter holidays, but it is: according to the National Retail Federation’s 2016 report, total spending during the Back to School season is expected to reach $75.8 billion this year.
We are actually already in the Back to School (BTS) season, which kicks off mid-July and goes through mid-September. Over 61% of BTS shoppers research online before purchasing products, and over 25% will use social media for transactional purposes, as this report from Deloitte shows.
Social media adds another dimension to every industry and season. Here are the conversations happening on social media as the BTS season began.
Social media conversation for Back to School centers primarily around shopping, commercials, and giveaways, as various retailers start their promotions for the season.
— SKECHERS USA (@SKECHERSUSA) July 31, 2016
Consumer conversations are being generated by people who are directly impacted by Back to School: school-goers or their parents discussing promotions, deals, and availability of items.
I love these horizon organic snacks for my boys! I am glad that we got the chance to try them just in time for my son back to school.
— Cristle Neff (@schultz_cristle) July 30, 2016
While some school-goers are excited for school to begin, others seem to be very disappointed.
— Crystal Matovich (@KDELibrary) July 26, 2016
I'm looking at pics of me from last year so far one of me sleeping and one holding a tardy letter I already hate school again #BackToSchool
— space veggie (@alyssaluongo) August 2, 2016
Traditional classroom supplies are the biggest category being mentioned in the Back to School conversations on social at this point, followed by video and electronics. Food and meals is the third largest category, with a big focus on Organic and Non-GMO/natural foods.
Amongst all social media conversations about Back to School, here are the top retailers being talked about:
Staples (19.8%) has the highest share of conversations, with mostly positive sentiments. Apart from promotions and consumer comments, the conversations for Staples were also driven by their Live event at BlogHer in Los Angeles, which helped generate a lot of positivity for the retailer.
A post shared by Stacy Molter | Fancy Shanty® (@stacymolter) on
Staples was followed by Walmart (16.8%) and Target (16.1%). These shares might change in the coming weeks as other retailers step up their game and the BTS season gathers steam in August.
While sentiments for Staples and Target were mainly positive, sentiments for Walmart were quite negative. Consumers complained about long queues and few check-out counters, even though it is a busy shopping season.
Walmart just piss me off ! It's back to school ! Why do we only have 5 registers open when it's damn near 300 people in line ..
— ♡Monky Monk ♡ (@_KayCobb) August 6, 2016
Breaking down the top categories by the retailers, it is interesting to see that Ebay as a retailer gets the most mentions for clothes after Nordstrom, while Target, Walmart, and Amazon are competing in similar categories.
— KaliMarcum™ (@KaliMarcum) August 1, 2016
We are keeping an eye on how these conversations evolve as we go deeper into the season: what are the new categories being talked about, and which retailers capture consumers’ imaginations on social? We will be posting updates right here on our Simply Measured Blog. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us on Twitter!
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I'm a Social Media Analyst at Simply Measured. I love food, music, movies, and long walks. Let's talk about social media data!