Get a Leg Up on Back to School Sales With These 5 Tips

back-to-schoolIt’s back to school season! Not for your kids (yet), but definitely for marketers. While back to school season is technically not a consumer holiday, did you know that this sale season is second only to winter shopping season? U.S. consumers will spend roughly $30 billion in total this year in back to school shopping. According to stats from the National Retail Federation, families with school-aged children spend an average of $634.78.

Back to School Success

What it all comes down to: your content for this season is more important than ever. Consider these tips for capitalizing on the season.

  1. Start early. Since we’ve hit August, so it’s a little late to catch the wave of 29% of shoppers who start their back-to-school shopping sprees by mid-July. Now that it’s August, you’ve got the upper hand on the two-thirds of ICSC survey responders who do most of their shopping during this month.
  2. An urgent call to action. Don’t just start early – your content is time-sensitive too, so make sure you’re grabbing your readers’ attention and letting them know that time is limited and that they had better get to it if they want to rake in the big savings.
  3. Keep the conversation going, even after the back to school season ends. Once fall is underway, shopping season doesn’t end – wintertime sales are just around the corner. Don’t disengage from your customers once everyone’s back in school. Make sure you continue to provide them with useful, consistent, interactive content so they’ll pay attention once the holidays roll around.
  4. Know what your customers are looking for. This year, it’s probably unsurprising: great deals on back to school items. A recent survey revealed that 85% reported looking for great deals on clothing, 80% for discounts on shoes, 68% on school supplies, and so on. Even if you aren’t selling school-specific items, it’s not hard to make sure that your customers know that you’re paying attention to the season – and offering great discounts to boot.
  5. Tell them what they want. Back to school season can be stressful for customers. Nobody likes to go back to the store at the last minute for the one thing they forgot. Many families have multiple children to keep track of, each with different needs and wants for school, and each family member often has a unique shopping list. If you provide the list, you’ll reduce a huge amount of stress. Send lists out via email, post them on your website or blog, or even display them at the point of sale. If you make sure your customers don’t forget anything, they’ll buy more – and they’ll also thank you for doing them the favor.

How is your business capitalizing on the back to school shopping season?

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Tree is a somewhat nomadic graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation from Drew University. A self-identified “diplobrat,” she spent over 16 years living as an expat in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, and Tanzania. Tree graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a minor in Studio Art, and a concentration in Landscape Studies. In between writing poetry for school and content for CEM, she dabbles in goat herding and freelancing. Other interests include reading, watercolor painting, gardening, and traveling.

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