New trends in how and when consumers want to shop shape the back-to-school season differently every year. Kevin Saliba is senior vice president of marketing at Zulily, an ecommerce retailer that launches daily sales geared toward parents and families. He spoke with eMarketer's Caroline Cakebread about how Zulily uses data to figure out when to launch back-to-school sales, and the new products, trends and demographics it predicts will be big this season. Saliba was interviewed as part of eMarketer’s July report, "Amazon Prime Day 2018: How a One-Day Promotion Changed the Back-to-School Season, and What Marketers Can Do Around This New Shopping Holiday."
The back-to-school shopping season seems to start earlier every year. How does Zulily determine when to start back-to-school sales and marketing?
Since we launch three-day sales every day, our shopper engages with us for back-to-school shopping earlier than they would with traditional retailers that have back-to-school merchandise on shelves.
We use data that allows us to make strategic, real-time decisions on what merchandise to sell when, or which messages will resonate more with certain consumers. In past years, we called out back-to-school messaging in sales as early as May, but we found this didn’t resonate with our customers, since children and teachers were still finishing their current school year.