A window of opportunity – How do school uniform retailers cope with seasonal demand?
As we fan our way through the summer months and as the school summer break looms, here at RagTagd we are diverting our attention to the bustling preparations of the retailers of school uniform, who are about to have their busiest time of the year.
Do you manufacture or sell school uniforms? July to September is your time to shine, with parents in the UK spending over £1.4 billion on school: blazers, jumpers, p.e kits and equipment.
Like the ice-cream sellers who are probably working overtime this week, school uniform retailers traditionally have a very small window of opportunity to make big sales.
Here are the areas we would explore with retailers looking to offer greater value for schools and parents while maintaining their sanity.
1) If you’re only on the high street…
Part of your appeal to parents is the ability to try on your uniforms so they can buy with confidence. However, running a store that only makes a profit for 2 or 3 months a year is hard work. How about differentiating your service from the online experience by: discount codes for early-bird purchases of next year’s uniform, a uniform repair service for busy parents – or the option of organically sourced uniform for those who would rather spend more for a different quality.
Offering interesting extra value is a smart way to get the right kind of attention on your uniform shop.
2) Know the school and the kids – help out with their enterprise assignments
With school uniform sales rocketing in the next 6 weeks, are you developing relationships with the new parents and schools throughout the year? Do the kids in the school want to go to your shop to get their uniform because you’re the cool person who helped plan their enterprise assembly? Build up trust and they might tell their friends about you. Once you have a good parent relationship, never let it go!
3) Have you made the shift to being online? Mobile optimised yet?
A recent survey by Salsify found that 75% of parents with at least one child use their mobile to shop. So while high street retail is a struggling sector, ecommerce is booming. To this end, making sure buying on your mobile website is easy, seamless and enjoyable. Using interactive sites with good images and information about the products ensures your customers feel informed and comfortable dressing their little VIP’s in the best uniforms available.
4) Tackle the big issues.
Adding value in new ways to parents will ensure they remember your name. So why not start a discussion that parents will appreciate and never forget? A great example is Lancashire-based school uniform suppliers Trutex – who have just launched their own anti-bullying campaign. Look at #bTRU2u on Twitter for more.
5) What about RagTagd?! (We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t mention it…)
We partner with school uniform retailers to offer their customers a brand new USP. A Smart Tag that’s pre-built into uniforms which sends Mum or Dad a text when their kids’ uniform arrives in lost property.
We’re trialling RagTagd up and down the UK already – so our Smart Racks are not already in your local schools, we can fit them – for free. Click here to find out more!
With so many excited parents buying first school uniforms, and families preparing for another school year, we hope you have a successful period of providing school uniforms, sports kits and school equipment. Safe to say, with our advice you’ll be hot competition!