3 Retail Brands Bridging the In-Store and Online Back-to-School Shopping Gap

By mloudenliveclicker-com | August 5, 2021

This year, back-to-school shopping is on the rise across all channels. Retail consumers are browsing products and reading recommendations in places they may have never looked before. And almost two-thirds will make permanent changes to their routine purchasing habits as a result.

In 2021, back-to-school success depends on your ability to move at the speed of the customer and engage buyers where they’re already actively browsing your products. And whether it’s through innovative fulfillment methods like curbside pickup and Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) or optimizing the ecommerce experience to drive in-store conversions, brands like Best Buy, Office Depot OfficeMax, and Walmart are using personalization to move at the speed of today’s back-to-school shoppers and bridge the gap between in-store and online back-to-school-shopping experiences.


#3 Best Buy

As an early adopter of customer loyalty programs, curbside pickup, and mobile personalization, Best Buy has long been a leader when it comes to creating truly rewarding cross-channel customer connections. But the retail giant isn’t slowing down or settling for anything less than an exceptional hybrid experience in 2021

This year, the tech retailer is making back-to-school shopping easier than ever — no matter how someone prefers to buy. Best Buy’s website features a one-click process from the homepage’s main navigation bar to give buyers an easy way to browse the organization’s best back-to-school deals. From there, students and parents can take a short quiz to identify the best device for their needs, browse hot sellers and popular categories, use the brand’s back-to-school checklist to make sure every supply is accounted for, and even sign up for Best Buy’s exclusive Student Deals program to receive exclusive discounts, promotions, and rewards directly from their email or their mobile app experience..

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#8 Office Depot OfficeMax

After merging the two biggest U.S. office supply brands, Office Depot OfficeMax’s number one priority was to modernize its digital presence. And it didn’t take long for us — or its loyal customers — to notice. The brand moved up 17 spots in this year’s Retail Personalization Index in no small part thanks to this organizational shift.

By implementing a more interactive and engaging online shopping experience, Office Depot OfficeMax is able to track customer preferences, buying habits, and behavior shifts as they change — giving the retailer an opportunity to personalize digital interactions to parents, students, and every other customer in a manner that’s already increasing YoY online sales by 20%.

Today, the brand is using advanced personalization tools to drive online traffic gains and convince in-store shoppers to convert via email for the first time. To do this, Office Depot OfficeMax’s summer sales messaging features online-only coupon codes and discounts, click-to-reveal mystery email offers, curated daily deals, and hot sellers that other shoppers are currently browsing to give its interactions relevancy, FOMO-inducing impact, and ultimately the best chance possible to transform traditional customers into ecommerce consumers.

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#20 Walmart

When it comes to back-to-school shopping, everyday low prices are a big deal to 75% of this year’s buyers. But that’s far from the only thing impressing parents and students across the board. Walmart’s easy-to-navigate website rivals any online buying experience because it displays personalized product recommendations and the hottest back-to-school sellers every time someone visits the brand’s homepage.

Walmart also delivers one of retail’s most seamless cross-channel shopping processes too, giving every customer a variety of options when it comes to engaging with the company’s promotions. For example, shoppers can learn about a discount on school supplies in an email, browse products on-site, complete their transaction via the Walmart mobile app, and pick up their order in-store or curbside through a contactless transaction if they so choose.

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