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Back-to-School Tips for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

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By Susan - October th, 2021- in Go-Getter Blog

Fall is in the air, school is underway, kids are expanding their minds, & parents are struggling to keep up with it all. Research shows that the ecommerce industry will grow its share of total back-to-school sales from 41.5% in 2020 to 43.1% in 2021! 

It’s time to bring more value & buzz to your business with new products & promotions. Here’s how to make the most of the school season & what to do next.

Tap Into the Trends

The best way to generate more sales during Fall and school season is to tap into the trends. Kids love being part of the trend-setting crowd, & parents are focused on giving their kids the latest & greatest supplies & gadgets. Scour parenting boards, study your analytics to see what sold the most last year, & study what your competition is doing to get a sense of what’s trending. 

Play Up to Emotions

There’s nothing like telling parents their kids only have a handful of first days of school or first football game moments left before they graduate. The idea isn’t to manipulate your consumers but give them a sense of nostalgia & pride in navigating those school days. Use those common emotions kids & parents feel around the school to create new products, slogans, & content marketing for your ecommerce store.

Stay Well Stocked

It’s not unusual to see sales spikes around the school season, after winter breaks, & when the seasons change. Whether it’s clothes or school supplies, families are shopping year round. You can get an idea of what products you need to stock by studying your analytics from previous school seasons. Asking another non-competing ecommerce entrepreneur about their own trends is also helpful.

The downfall of staying well-stocked is not knowing what you’ll need & when. The unpredictability of your sales cycle creates a situation for too much inventory & rising overhead. Or worse, not enough product that leaves customers disappointed. Using a white label, print-on-demand service like CustomCat can help. With CustomCat’s print-on-demand, you can easily offer high-quality products with customized designs in no time. You can learn more about CustomCat’s services here:

POD for Promo Products with CustomCat

How to Get Started with CustomCat

Know Your Audience

If you’re a new ecommerce entrepreneur who sells multiple products, you may not know which of your customers are parents, students, college grads, administrators, & educational professionals. Looking at your analytics & demographics is one place to start. But simply polling your audience on who they are & what they want from your school promotions makes an immediate impact on your knowledge base & how to meet your customers’ needs.

Keep Your Site Mobile Friendly 

College kids are also on the hunt for new products year-round. Make sure you cater to the way they love to shop most: their smartphones. Of course, mobile ecommerce is skyrocketing across multiple demographics. According to Oberlo, mobile commerce sales are projected to reach $3.56 trillion in 2021, showing a 22.3% increase over the $2.91 trillion it registered in 2021!

Focus on Value

School supplies can be a dime a dozen, especially when it comes to ecommerce shopping. Focus on the value your products provide with targeted descriptions, educational videos, relatable blog content, or an email series that promotes value. Whether you’re talking about the usefulness of your own products or covering themes like anti-bullying methods & study tips, give your audience a reason to keep coming back for more.

Create a Year-Round School-Theme

While your competition is quickly moving on once the first month of school is out of the way, you can stand out by creating a long-term school theme for your ecommerce store. Consider dedicating a page or blog post series to all things school that attracts your audience year-round. 

Parents & students alike will keep returning for promotions, helpful information, and annual events like test prep to get the products & services they need to succeed. Mid-year semesters & breaks are also the perfect time to target messaging to students & families. They’re more likely to relocate & start a new school mid-year or face upcoming standardized tests directly before or after the holidays.

Remember Teachers & Administrators

Families aren’t the only ones shopping for year-round school supplies. Teachers & administrators are also looking for supplies, fresh ideas, training materials, work attire, & more! If you don’t cater specifically to this demographic, consider creating a product category that caters just to them.

Contribute to an Educational Charity

Why not give back to schools while you’re generating sales in your online store? Publicly commit to donating a percentage of sales to an educational charity of your choice. Or give each customer the option of donating part of their sale to a local charity. It’s good business to give back to the community, honor your customers, & generate some buzz simultaneously.

Partner with Non-Competing Ecommerce Stores

Are you struggling to ignite your marketing or sales engine? Partner with a non-competing online store. If you sell kids’ clothes & accessories, partner with a company that sells STEM products or toys. The more you work together to promote each other’s brands & sales, the broader your reach for a similar audience eager for new products.

Launch Social Media Ads

Targeted social media ads are a win for ecommerce entrepreneurs looking to draw an audience to their promotions & new product launches. There’s a social media platform for just about every demographic.

Creating Facebook & Instagram ads is a quick way to reach Moms & college students looking for new products & services. And if they find your store highly valuable, they’re more likely to share it on their favorite social media platforms & help generate buzz for you. 

Final Thoughts

Ready to refocus your ecommerce efforts on school & all things education? Share what’s worked for your store by leaving a comment below!

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