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7 Ecommerce Tips to Drive Back to School Sales

Aug 20, 2015 10:30:00 AM  |  BY: Grant Thomas

We are right in the thick of back to school shopping season which is a huge opportunity for online retailers. Back to school sales have increased by an average of 15% every year over the last 5 years and the growth shows no sign of slowing down. There’s still time to generate buzz and convert some sales. Here are 7 tips to maximize ecommerce success this back to school season.

1. Treat back to school like a holiday Season

Back to school shopping spans from mid July all the way to the end of September and accounts for 70% of total Q3 revenue. This is your opportunity to drive traffic to your site during a period of the year when shoppers are looking to purchase. The season is also not limited to one market. Here are a few key target markets to focus on:

  • Moms: Do the majority of back to school shopping for children

  • Adolescents: Shop for latest fashion styles and trendy items

  • College Students: Shop for clothing, electronics, decor, and school supplies

  • Teachers: It’s the first day of school for teachers too

    kidecals

Kidecals has designed this overlay promotion to appeal to moms who visit their site. Their 15% discount offer and newsletter topics are both appealing to one of their key target markets, mothers. 

Even if you’re not a retailer of something back to school oriented, this is still a great time to connect with your customer base because the busiest shopping days are on their way. By re-engaging shoppers before the holiday season, you’re much more likely to get them to purchase when November rolls around.

 

2. Optimize for mobile and tablet shoppers

Mobile optimization has been a focus in online retail all year long and it needs to be. this back to school season. According to Adroll, 73% of parents will use mobile devices to shop while 57% of back to college shoppers will use their mobile device to shop online. I’d recommend optimizing for mobile devices now to capitalize on back to school mobile sales but also to get your site ready for the holidays. If you’re in a time crunch, ShopPad offers a simple mobile solution for both Shopify and Magento.

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Beloved Shirts Mobile Site

 


3. Create a back to school landing page

When you drive traffic to your site for a specific purpose like a sale or particular set of products, you want to send shoppers to a relevant page. You will be running PPC ads and email campaigns to get visitors on your website so send them to a page that is consistent with what they clicked on. Create a specific landing page that showcases back to school products, content, and sales/specials. This simplifies navigation and can make the purchasing process significantly easier for shoppers. By reducing the steps that a shopper must take to purchase, you can convert more sales!


4. Drive traffic with short, actionable promotional emails

Entice shoppers with to the point emails with the main focus of driving traffic to your site. Notify shoppers of current sales/promotions that they can receive on your site and provide one or two clear calls to action. You don’t want to overload people with too much information that they don’t know what to do with it. Here's a great example from online surf and skate clothing retailer, Killer Dana. This back to school email is to the point with clear calls to action in order to drive traffic to relevant pages on their site. 

killerdana_email1

killerdana_email_2

 

5. Offer deals to drive sales

With a lot of shoppers comes a lot of competition. Consumers are going to compare your products, prices, shipping options, and much more with that of your competitors. Offer your shoppers deals which they can instantly receive on your site by entering an email address. By using special deals, you can keep shoppers on your site, sway purchasing decisions, and directly drive sales. Here are a few promotional deals to consider using on your site:

Free Shipping

enerskin_free_shipping

Enerskin Compression Clothing

Shipping options can be the difference in getting a sale. A study by Harris Interactive and UPS found that Consumers state high shipping cost as the #1 reason for cart abandonment. To tip the scale and get the sale, present free shipping promotions to shoppers on your site.

Pro Tip: Use free shipping thresholds to increase order size. Harris Interactive and UPS found that 39% of customers would purchase enough to get free shipping. First, find your average order size. Then set your free shipping threshold slightly higher (if your average order size is $50, then offer free shipping on orders of $75 or more).

Discounts

back_to_school_marketing

Use this overlay template right now! It's in the theme gallery.

Shoppers are actively looking for discounts and will go through extensive lengths to find promo codes on 3rd party sites. You don’t want that. You want your shoppers to stay on your site and make a purchase.

Instead of letting them leave to coupon hunt, offer them a discount promo code on site using an overlay. This ensures that your offer will be seen and will provide them exactly what they’re looking for in a discount (all without leaving your site).

Gift with Purchase

Stand out from your competitors by offering shoppers a free gift with a purchase. This is valuable to customers because people generally love free stuff and can result in more sales because shoppers must purchase to receive the item of value. If you’ve got some old inventory or leftover promotional items, this could be a great promotion to run.


6. Targeted promotions and exit offers to increase conversions

Onsite promotions are a great way to reach the bulk of your shoppers with enticing deals. However, with onsite promotional tools, you can target specific visitors with different offers. For example, you can present cart abandoners with a higher discount right before they leave your site to keep them on your site. You can also offer expedited free shipping to shoppers with high value carts to close the deal. There are so many ways to strategically use onsite promotions so check out our promotion rules to see what you can do!


7. Collect shopper information for the holiday season

myrobeez_form

Increased traffic for the back to school season is a great opportunity to collect shopper information for holiday marketing campaigns. Engage shoppers with overlays to acquire info that you can use later. With Halloween, Black Friday, and Christmas on the horizon, the more contacts you have the better chance of converting more sales. Keep it simple by just asking shoppers for an email or use a multi field form to gather deeper info. Here's how to embed a sign up form within an pop up. You can also use your back to school promotions to acquire new email contacts for the holidays.

In Conclusion

Back to school shopping season is a great opportunity for sales and re-engagement for the holidays. As a retailer, you need to capitalize on the biggest shopping period of Q3.

If you're interested in implementing spectacular seasonal promotions and converting a higher percentage of your traffic, then start your free 14 day trial today!

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Topics: Conversion Optimization, Promotion Strategy, Ecommerce