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Ramping Up Your Back-to-School Sales for Your Online Store

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By Emily Nelson - July 27, 2023- in Go-Getter Blog

Move over Black Friday & Cyber Monday; back-to-school shopping season is here. You can carefully blend competitive pricing with unique products to drive more sales & increase your revenue. NRF’s annual back-to-school survey shows that 64% of consumers planned to build their seasonal shopping around retailer sales events, & 43% expected to do more comparative shopping online (up from 30% in 2021). 

If you’re looking to get in on the action this year, here are some ideas to ramp up your back-to-school sales for your online store.

Empower Customers to Stand-Out

Back-to-school season is more than snatching up school supplies; it’s also an opportunity for students to stand out from the crowd & shape their identities. Whether you’re tapping into current trends or experimenting with daring designs, POD helps supercharge your online store without the financial risk.

CustomCat makes it easy to get started with simple integrations & hundreds of products to choose from. Upload your designs to your library, apply them to your favorite products, from hoodies to bags, & start selling. When someone buys an item, we get to work producing & fulfilling it. We’ll also ship it out on your behalf with a label representing your individual company.

Get started with CustomCat here. 

Offer Customization Options

Customization options can help fuel your ecommerce business without adding a ton of time on product fulfillment. It can also dramatically boost your sales. Research shows 90% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience.

The problem with product customization is that it’s often a clunky & laborious process unless it’s done in bulk. That’s why we teamed up with Customily to personalize your products. Customers can take advantage of clip art, custom text options, & photo uploads with live preview mockups to create the perfect personalized product.

Speak to Your Customers’ Pain Points

School conjures up images of excitement & dread all at once. Depending on your demographic & their ages, back-to-school season is an opportunity to tap into their unique pain points. Whether it’s college-aged kids juggling some fun, a full course load,  & internships or smaller kids navigating the social hierarchies in school, there’s always a pain point.

Go directly to the source & ask your audience what they struggle with when school resumes. Take advantage of your favorite social media platform or send out an email campaign. You’ll end up with a goldmine of personalized information that will help shape the rest of your marketing campaigns throughout the year.

Remember the Parents

If you’re catering to younger kids, their parents are also part of your overall target market. Parents are most likely the ones browsing for back-to-school supplies & clothes & footing the bill. Make sure your product descriptions align with those two markets: kids & their parents. For example, parents want to know if your T-shirts are durable & if the design fades.

Catering to kids also comes with unique marketing opportunities. Some of the best social media platforms for kids include YouTube, where they watch fun videos & unboxing videos of their favorite products.

Focus on Non-Traditional Students

There are plenty of target markets beyond traditional school-aged students that you can market to. Grad students, parents juggling work while going back to school, & digital learners are often underrepresented in the market. Poll your audience on what type of student they are, or do some market research to see how you can reach those non-traditional students.

The goal is to find students that aren’t necessarily represented in other online stores. What kind of supplies & products do they need? What are their pain points?

Target Teachers

Students aren’t the only ones going back-to-school this season. Remember teachers heading back to the grind. The teacher consumer group spends an average of $1.5 billion per year & spends an average of $490 out of their own pocket for classroom needs. It doesn’t have to be all about school supplies, but supporting the teaching community. Whether they need a humorous tote as a pick-me-up or school supplies, adjust your product copy & marketing accordingly. 

There are also ways to fold teachers into your marketing, even if your demographic is about kids & their parents. For example, offer gift cards & position them as an innovative gift for teachers.

Consider the Geographical Differences

Remember, not all schools start back at the same time, so don’t wait too long to start marketing yourself. In the South, schools start back in early August, whereas the Northeast & West Coast don’t usually start back until after Labor Day. You can dig into your online analytics to see which region the majority of your shoppers live in to make informed decisions about your marketing.

Beyond the school start season, the products you sell also matter. Kids in hot regions still want T-shirts for school, while students in cooler regions who start back in September already need hoodies.

Capture Your Audience for the End-of-School Sale Season

Keep your marketing on point with lead magnets & email capture. Whether you’re offering a discount code for signing up or VIP access, you need an email list to keep in touch with customers. You’ll already have scores of data points on what products they like & don’t like, which campaigns they responded to, & where they hang out on social media. By the time you’re ready to sell end-of-school essentials, all the hard work of collecting & refining your data is done.

What was your biggest takeaway from this article? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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