Back to school season is the second biggest shopping season behind Christmas and Black Friday engaging 29 million households and accounting for $84 billion in sales in the US. With over half of those purchases being made online, now is the best time to prepare your website for the peak back to school buying season in August. The top spending categories include school supplies, clothing, computers, and electronics.
Advertise Discounts on School Essentials
Back to school shopping season is very competitive so parents and students always looking for the best deals on their lists. If your website sells school supplies, ensure that you feature a sale on the essentials on your homepage and link to the back to school section of your website. If you are a bakery, include coffee and pastry deals for busy parents chauffeuring their kids to school. You can get creative with your promotions by bundling popular items together, offering door-busters on the essentials to get people browsing, and price matching deals to stand out against your competition.
If you are running a back to school sale, inform your regular customer base by sending out email newsletters on a regular basis. Send out your email campaigns free with MailChimp and get started with these effective email marketing strategies.
Personalize School Supplies
Every kid wants to be unique so you could make your school supplies and accessories stand out by allowing parents to personalize them. From pencil cases, backpacks and stationery, let customers chose their favorite colors, designs and add their names and photos.
Offer Free Shipping
The cost of shipping is the number one barrier to buying things online. This is especially true for clothes since you cannot try them on. The majority of home shoppers say that the cost of shipping impacts their decision to buy online so by offering free shipping, you can significantly increase conversions. Buyers are psychologically turned off by shipping costs so it is better just to build shipping directly into the product rather than itemizing it.
Give Away Helpful Content
Create a back to school checklist for students as a reference tool and include some products that you carry to boost sales. If you are a salon, post some Youtube videos of stylish, no-fuss hairstyles and makeup routines. If you are a bakery, include some quick, nutritious sandwich recipes using our bread. If you sell clothes, post some casual, budget-friendly outfits for the first day of school. Blog about helpful content to problems that your target market may be searching will attract more prospects than high-pressure sales tactics.
Reach out to Students on Social Media
Ramp up your social media efforts by posting discounts and promo codes to social media. Teens and young adults are the heaviest social media users with over 90% of them using social media with the most popular networks being Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat. If you are trying to talk to them, advertise to them or engage with them in any way and you are not on social media, then you do not stand a change. Parents often look to Pinterest for ideas and tips. We recommend starting off with a free HooteSuite account to schedule your posts and building your following by engaging your followers. Here are some social media marketing tips to increase sales.
Optimize for Mobile
Mobile revenues have exceeded desktop and laptop revenues and still exponentially rising. If your website is still not responsive, it may be too late for the back to school season but now is the time to redesign it or you will miss the Black Friday and Christmas buying season as well. Here are some tips to engage and convert your mobile traffic.
Include Back to School Keywords
If you want to rank organically, you need to incorporate some back to school keywords into your website content. According to Adwords, here are some keywords to focus on:
- school supplies
- discount school supply
- first day of school
- school supplies list
- teacher supply store
- back to school supplies
- back to school outfits
- teacher supplies
- back to school sales
- school supply store
Launch an Adwords Campaign
To supplement your SEO efforts, you could implement a Google Adwords campaign for back to school. Start by reviewing your Google Analytics to see if your website ranks for any of your targeted keywords already. The best way to get more relevant visitors is by using broad match modified and selecting some longer tail keywords that may have less expensive top page bids. To improve conversion be sure to create a complementary landing page for each ad group that reiterates the ad content and ideally removes all external links.
Try Google Remarketing
You pay a lot to drive traffic to your website and remarketing can convert users who have already seen your website. Remarketing works by placing cookies on your website to collect information about visitors who meet certain requirements. Ads are then shown to prospects who view a certain page on your website but didn’t make a purchase or complete an inquiry form.
Know your Target Markets
When it comes back to school, there are many different buyer personas including elementary school kids, middle school kids, high school kids, college students and their parents. If you plan to market to all of these different audiences, make sure that you have custom campaigns that speak to each group’s needs and motivations. Research the local schools in your area are requiring students to have, review market trends on popular new items and trendy clothes, check out your competitors’ websites, and review previous back to school sales reports to get an accurate forecast and optimize your inventory.
Please contact us if you need web design or development help with your back to school campaign or redesigning your website to be mobile-friendly.