Pencils, Books and… Shampoo?

This is the second in a 4-part series on back to school retail. Read part 1 here 

Back to school is usually dominated by school supplies, apparel, and shoes. However, even industries not usually associated with back to school can benefit from the second biggest spending season of the year for retail. Here’s why:

1.) Increased Retail Foot Traffic:


Discount stores are well known for carrying pretty much everything. Need to get gardening supplies, a casserole dish, some new socks, and a 300 pack of mailing labels all in one day? Chances are shoppers won’t go to 4 different stores, when they can buy all of them in one place.  Is it any wonder that discount stores benefit the most from back to school shopping? Two out of three shoppers went to discount stores in 2012 for their back to school needs (more than any other type), so any product sold in the Walmarts and Targets of the world can benefit from the the back-to-school crowds.

2.) Extra Spending Power From Your Customers:


From August 2-4th 11 different states are offering shoppers a tax free weekend on school supplies, clothing, computers, books, and even sports equipment. But that doesn’t mean other goods have to feel left out. According to research by The Washington Economics Group, sales of non-taxable goods at large retailers during Florida’s 2010 tax-free holiday increased by 35% when compared to the year before. This is a huge opportunity for other industries. Consumers have more money to spend because of sales tax holidays. Make sure your product is attracting the customer’s attention.

3.) Back to College:


While the little ones head back to the classrooms, we can’t forget about the 17-23 year olds heading to college. In 2012, they spent 63% more than back to school shoppers, representing $53.5 Billion dollars of the back to school pie.  That’s $53.5 Billion dollars spent on things like extra-long twin-sized bed sheets, Easy Mac (the new Ramen Noodle), futons, televisions, and those little white boards that stick to the front of your door.  74% of college shoppers bought personal care items, 69% stocked up on food, 54% got electronics and 47% spent to furnish their dorm room.

So while we may be back to the season of pencils, books and teachers’ dirty looks, don’t forget that back to school can be a fruitful season for anyone. Do you work in housewares, consumer electronics, or inexpensive, microwavable pasta dishes? Treat this like you would any other season with increased sales, and make sure your retail execution is flawless

We can help with that – Request a demo to learn how

A Story About Shelf Space

We work with businesses of all sizes at Gigwalk. While all our customers have great stories, there are a few that stand out, especially when it comes to small and medium businesses. For the small consumer goods companies we work with, it’s often about the battle for shelf space in stores.

It’s hard enough for them to get their product into stores when they don’t have a famous brand name behind them. Once they’re in, the product has to sell enough to keep the shelf space they have (and ideally, get more). The problem is, there’s a lot that can go wrong at retail that’s out of their hands. Maybe their product is in the wrong place, or store associates aren’t re-stocking the shelves. In fact, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) estimates that 25% of the time a  product is out of stock on the shelf or display, the item is actually in the store somewhere.

Oasis Consumer Healthcare is a company owned by doctors, dentists and scientists. One of their products is Halo, an oral antiseptic that helps protect against airborne illness. They learned that sales in 10% of its stores were down across a major retail chain in some parts of the country, but they were strong everywhere else. With only 5 weeks left in a 12-week test-run, they had to do something fast, or risk losing the shelf space they fought so hard to get. So they decided to use Gigwalk to find out what was going on.


Here’s our favorite part of this story: For the price of a smartphone, they received 300 photos and 450 data points that helped them find out exactly where there were problems at retail, fix them, and ensure their product launch was a success. We love it because their story isn’t just about a mobile app. It’s about what you can do when there are hundreds of thousands of people available on-demand to show you exactly what your product looks like in stores at a moment’s notice.

Want to learn more about the Oasis Consumer Healthcare story? Download the case study. 

Big News at Gigwalk!

Today we made a couple of exciting announcements.

The first is that Gigwalk’s A-list roster of customers is growing.  Reckitt Benckiser is a major consumer goods company with hundreds of household products like Lysol, Easy Off, Woolite, Vicks and many more. They’re using Gigwalk to conduct on-location shopper interviews, and retail audits, which are helping them understand what drives sales.

Second - if you’ve visited today, you probably noticed that we’ve had quite the makeover. This update goes much deeper than our fancy new homepage

Our product and engineering teams have been hard at work building new products that make it easier to check on the products, people, and places that matter to your business. Today we released three major new features, including:  

Visibility: Your Dashboard


See your workers and Gigs in action, assign new work, and get real-time updates

Collaboration: Your Colleagues on Gigwalk


Onboard your entire team to Gigwalk, connect with colleagues, share results 

Organization: Your Gigs and Results


Find and filter Gigs and locations, browse results, manage your account

Check out the updates at You can also get more details about the new features here

~The Gigwalk Team

Gigwalk’s CEO, Bob Bahramipour conducted a webinar for the National Association for Retail Marketing Services (NARMS) about the importance of speed, flexibility, coverage, and accuracy when conducting retail audits - especially for important holiday retail executions. (Which also exist outside of Q4 by the way…) Check out a recording of the webinar, or get in touch to learn more.