The National Retail Federation (NRF) projects that back-to-school (BTS) spending will jump 10% this year to $83.6 billion. And as many as 44% of BTS shoppers will buy online, up from 38% in 2016. Of those shopping online, 91% plan to take advantage of free shipping. That is why eBags is offering customers free shipping on BTS items and is enhancing the experience with planning tools such as a BTS shopping guide and a backpack finder tool.
eBag’s BTS promotion comes on the heels of its newly created retail holiday, which centered around Amazon’s third annual Prime Day on July 11. The online retailer of travel goods offered twice as many extreme deals as last year during Amazon Prime Week—as well as featuring eBag’s very best sellers at the lowest prices of the year. Deals started 12:01 MT on July 10.
As eBags continues into the holiday season, the e-commerce site is making its mark as a mobile-first marketplace. Though the company has been in business for 18 years, eBags realized in 2008 that mobile was a growing trend and in 2015, double-digit growth rates sealed the company’s determination to develop a mobile-first platform.
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“We focused on building out an optimal user experience for mobile as we’d done for desktop,” Mike Frazzini, CTO of eBags, told FierceRetail. “It was more than just replicating the desktop experience but designing a frictionless user experience specific to mobile. We know consumers are increasingly busy and reliant on their smartphones.”
When designing for mobile, Frazzini says that eBags keeps in mind that there is very little real estate, yet shoppers want the same experience as on desktop. Plus, attention spans are short on mobile, so the experience has to be fast, simple and optimized for speed.
“We’ve bumped up our mobile marketing spend to be a higher share this year for when shoppers are using search engines for back-to-school items,” Chris Seahorn, vice president of marketing at eBags, told FierceRetail. “We’re also investing considerably more in the social channels where we know our back-to-school users are spending time. Plus we’ve created video content that is heavily digestible on mobile.”
eBags is looking to create “micro winning moments,” which they interpret as having a rich user experience that is frictionless and fast on a smartphone, according to Frazzini. This also includes offering safe and fast payment options too, such as digital wallets Paypal and Apple Pay, and options that lend themselves to mobile transactions.
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With a mobile-first focus, the company has been able to reduce its checkout process from seven pages down to one page. And developers have also sped up the average page speed to 3 seconds.
“We know from Google that for every second you take to load a page past 3 seconds, you lose 20% of your customers,” Frazzini added.
eBag’s push to mobile will continue to grow as the all-important 2017 holiday season approaches.
“This time of year we see a dramatic shift to mobile,” Frazzini said. “We see mobile sales growth doubling during these heavy shopping seasons. It’s a combination of changing demographics and shopper preferences and the fact people are especially busy during back-to-school and the holidays.”