The three to four weeks before the start of the school year has become one of the most popular shopping seasons in the U.S. In 2018, eCommerce back-to-school shopping reached $58.1 billion, with 66.7 percent of shoppers making purchases from a desktop computer. Based on Shopify’s recent statistics, college-aged students are the best target audience for eCommerce merchants, as this demographic is spending an average of $942.17 on back-to-school supplies.
The most popular categories for back-to-school shopping include clothing, electronic gadgets, books and, for college students, furniture and home decor items. Before the season gets underway, eCommerce merchants should optimize their mobile sites as well; the data from Shopify also reports that sellers using this platform had more mobile than desktop sales in 2018.
1. Develop Promotions and Contests
To promote your back-to-school deals, spend some time developing discounts or special promotions that will attract consumers to your site over the competition. With shopping cart abandonment rates as high as 83.6 percent, free shipping is a major motivator on the path to purchase.
Some eCommerce merchants opt to run a free shipping promotion after customers have spent a specific amount of money, which encourages more spending and increases AOV (average order value). Other great promotional options include offering a free gift with purchase or discounts on back-to-school items.
2. Run Promotions on Social Media
To properly prepare for the back-to-school shopping season, you should begin planning your marketing strategies at least two months in advance. Once you’ve developed your promotions, it’s time to start letting your target market know about the upcoming specials.
Email marketing is an extremely effective way to spread the word about promotions, but social media marketing offers another avenue to garner new customers and expand your brand’s influence. Using Instagram sponsored ads or Facebook advertising, you can target your exact demographic and present them with enticing ads to promote your upcoming back-to-school promotions.
3. Analyze Last Year’s Data
The best way to begin developing your back-to-school eCommerce marketing strategy is by analyzing your data from the previous year. This is the greatest predictor for which items you should stock up on and how much revenue you can expect.
During popular shopping seasons like back-to-school or Black Friday and Cyber Monday, eCommerce merchants should expect a rise in web traffic and plan for this spike. Reviewing last year’s analytics will give you a good idea of how much your traffic increased during back-to-school time and help you determine a course of action for the uptick in 2019.
4. Create a Back-to-School Product Page
During your back-to-school promotional period, direct your customers to the products they’re looking for by creating a seasonal web page. Devise email marketing campaigns to promote the sale and include a link directly to this page to guide your customers.
5. Increase Brand Awareness Through Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is an effective social media strategy that allows brands to partner with popular accounts. These influencers are able to expose your brand to a new audience, expanding your company’s reach online. Prior to back-to-school season, reach out to influencers who are involved in your industry and arrange a marketing strategy to promote your sales. Many eCommerce merchants will allow influencers to present a special discount code to their followers as an additional incentive.
6. Marketing Strategies that Encourage Community Involvement
Implementing marketing strategies that also emphasize community involvement are an excellent way to make the world a better place and show your target market that your brand is about more than just sales. One way to integrate this initiative into your marketing plan is by donating a percent of sales to a specific community-oriented charity.
Toms™️ may be the best example of a company with this type of marketing strategy. With each purchase, the company donates an equal product to a child in need. Community initiatives can be a powerful way to build relationships and increase brand visibility.
Once you find the right giving back initiative for your brand, start promoting it to your target market to raise awareness and support. Not only is it a fun ways to engage with your audience, but it can establish your brand as one that invests in causes for a common good. Recent metrics report that 82 percent of consumers consider corporate social responsibility when it comes to their purchasing decision, so your altruism can also help boost your revenue as well.
7. Build Momentum for the Holiday Shopping Season
Every eCommerce merchant knows that summer tends to be a slow season, but once back-to-school rolls around, it’s time to start developing and promoting your holiday shopping deals as well. During your slow, summer months, start creating your promotions for the back-to-school season, which is quickly followed by Halloween, Thanksgiving and the December holidays. You can use email marketing campaigns to keep your subscribers in the know about the upcoming holiday specials to keep them engaged.
If you need help implementing your marketing initiatives for back-to-school shopping season or the upcoming holidays, Springbot is happy to help. Let’s chat today to leverage our automated marketing platform to maximize revenue and grow your brand presence online.