For most people, the first week of July is a time to welcome summer.
For students, it solidifies the fact that school is out—giving them a reprieve from the studying and early morning wakeup calls. For adults, it is a long weekend; a family barbeque or a day at the beach. It’s a red, white and blue event, complete with patriotic songs and vacation time. Bring on the fireworks.
Bring on the sunshine, and the sales and the back-to-school coupons?
This year, while most people were enjoying their days off, letting the sun and the idea that school was out sink in, their mailboxes filled up with newspaper articles and advertisements highlighting back-to-school pitches from retailers—little reminders that, while school may have just ended for some, it’s never too early to start shopping for the new year.
And though, traditionally, consumers have begun their back-to-school shopping three-to-four weeks before school starts, this year, it’s different.
According to the National Retail Foundation, back-to-school and back-to-college spending accounts for $84 billion in sales, making this the second biggest season for retailers behind the $580 billion winter holidays.
Though sales were up 5.9 percent last year from 2011, retailers are allowing their customers time to shop around for the best deals—and the early start gives them more time to save for the holidays.
In a recent press release, Staples announced the launch of their #StaplesHasIt program, opening the back-to-school shopping season with their “Reward-A-Classroom” program—saving customers money, and rewarding teachers for all their hard work.
"Staples has it all for the back-to-school season, with tremendous savings and a huge selection of products that ranges from essential supplies to the latest technology," said Demos Parneros, president, North American stores and online, Staples. "Staples supports teachers and with our new Reward-A-Classroom program, we make it easy and affordable for parents and educators to work together to keep the classroom stocked all year long."
Staples makes it easy on customers to shop for supplies, and give back at the same time. With their diverse carrier mix, they’re also ensuring a quick delivery of those highly anticipated school supplies.
Without a worldwide infrastructure to support, regional parcel carriers like OnTrac in the 8 states out west, are able to keep prices competitive and its regional hub-and-spoke model enables customers to save time in transit; a welcome concept in the ever-changing, competitive eCommerce industry.
Their strategically located facilities and optimized routes make getting packages faster, easier.
“Free shipping is not enough,” Director of Business Development Mark Magill said. “e-Retailers now have to compete by offering faster shipping. In an industry where free shipping has come to be expected, online retailers must play to the beat of a generation that not only wants things faster, but for a cheaper price. Regional carriers are the perfect solution. With faster transit times and fewer fees than national delivery companies, regional carriers can often save time and money."
From its Commerce facility, OnTrac is able to deliver overnight to every ZIP Code in California and the major metropolitan areas of Arizona and Nevada overnight, with two-day shipping to Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Idaho.
Plus, with less accessorial fees consumers can feel good about their back-to-school experience from shop to ship.