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

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

Real Time is Right Now - Avoid Becoming Obsolete

Last week Gigwalk had a brief European adventure.  One of our clients invited us to fly out and present Gigwalk’s mobile work technology to their executive team.  I am happy to report that we had a pat-ourselves-on-the-back moment thanks in large part to a few great people using Gigwalk out in the field.

While presenting, I decided to give a live demo and used our standard self-service tool to launch a store Gig in North America while I was in Europe.

In minutes, field workers were applying through the Gigwalk mobile app.  A few taps later and I was able to sort and choose the most qualified.  Within 30 minutes I had directed a group of workers in the field to several locations where they started on the job.

The real-timeness – afforded only by smartphone mobility is what caught their eyes.  I found myself speaking about the future of field work in a mobile world.  All the while they watched as that future unfolded in real-time on a screen behind me.  


Results delivered in real-time by qualified workers is just part of why mobile field work is the future

Workers arriving, tasks reviewed, question answered, results submitted – all streaming through the Gigwalk dashboard in real time – I was over 5,000 miles away, and yet with only passing effort, I had a bird’s-eye view; managing and directing multiple remote field teams that I had never met in-person.

In one corner: mobile-first, open, app-based, consumerized, slim, intelligent, self-organized marketplace.

In the other corner: PC-first, proprietary, legacy, enterprise-oriented, bloated, custom-built, top-down managed.

It’s time to choose sides – except we all already know the winner.