Back-to-school shopping is a big business, especially for college students moving into dorms for their first day of school. According to a study conducted in 2017 by the National Retail Federation, American families spent $54.1 billion on back-to-college supplies. Of that, $5.9 billion was spent on dorm furnishings – bedding, chairs, organizers and all of the other comforts that make a student’s first home-away-from home more manageable. Now that back-to-college is a multi-billion dollar industry, more and more companies are trying to get their slice of the pie and are focusing their marketing and sales efforts into attracting both parents and students.
Bath products aren’t always top of mind for back-to-college shopping. Most students aren’t purchasing new faucets or stoves for their dorms. However, heated towel racks – specifically freestanding models such as the Amba Solo collection – are a great way to appeal to both students and parents. Heated towel racks not only provide a sense of luxury, they are two things Generation Z values most: efficient and eco-friendly. By utilizing these values in your sales tactics, heated towel racks will become a back-to-college necessity.
Time is a precious commodity for college students and let’s face it – doing laundry is a major time-suck. According to Tide, with 32 weeks in the average college school year, students will spend as much as 96 hours a year in laundry rooms – four entire 24-hour days doing nothing but laundry. Many college students also lack disposable income. Having a heated towel rack keeps towels warm, fresh and most importantly, dry. This saves students time and money by making frequent trips to the laundry unnecessary. Spending less on laundry and having more time to study is a win for both students and parents. For Gen Zers obsessed with efficiency, heated towel racks give students the bandwidth to deal with more pressing matters than drying towels.
Save the Environment
In a world where climate change is an immediate threat, Gen Zers are taking sustainability and environmentalism into their own hands. Having to wash towels less is also better for the environment. Commercial driers use a lot of energy (one reason why people in many countries outside the U.S. often hang their clothes to dry). A heated towel rack uses the same amount of energy it takes to run a few light bulbs, drying large-format items like towels in a more efficient manner. Washing clothes often also wastes a lot of water. According to Home Water Works, washing clothes accounts for 15-40 percent of the overall water consumption of a typical family of four. The newer high-efficiency washers typically found on college campuses still consume 14 to 25 gallons of water per load. Using a heated towel rack cuts down on energy use and water waste – good habits for when college is over and the bills starts rolling in.
When it comes to the most opportune time to promote for back-to-college shopping, don’t fret. According to Deloitte, the most popular times for back-to-college shopping are late July and early August. Many states offer tax-free holidays for back-to-school shopping. These dates vary from state to state, but it’s a great time to promote heated towel racks for the dorm room. Consider applying back-to-school keywords to your blog posts and digital advertising or running a sale on freestanding models using a thoughtful social media campaign. Presenting or staging fun images with people using heated towel racks (especially in dorm-like settings) will help potential buyers visualize how a heated towel rack can save them time, money and hassle.
Back-to-school shopping is a $54.1 billion opportunity. Don’t let it slip through your fingers. With some creativity, you too can reap the benefits of the back-to-school season.