This back-to-school season is poised to be like none other. After 16+ months at home, kids may need more than the standard checklist, and some items may be crossed off for good. NRF projects spending to hit a record $37.1 billion, and Mastercard anticipates spending at department stores will grow 25% year-over-year. Meanwhile, ecommerce sales increased by more than 53% compared to 2019. This growth sounds like great news for retailers, but a look behind the scenes tells us the three things retailers should keep top of mind this season: reviews, rightsizing, and returns.
Behind every student heading back-to-school this fall is a parent who's been carefully vetting products, searching for the perfect outfit, and saving return slips for a possible return. An Oracle Retail survey of more than 5,000 global shoppers found parents are more likely to be influenced by reviews and leave them, and they're more likely to make returns than those without kids. The data shows the challenge for retailers that may lie ahead as parents order, try on, return, and review items until they find the perfect fit for their student – and experience for themselves.