8 back to school marketing tactics on your eCommerce site in 2023

9 min read
Brenda Barron

As the end of summer approaches, it's time to launch back-to-school marketing campaigns. With the new school year just around the corner, back-to-school promotions are a must for any eCommerce site. This is especially true in the wake of the pandemic, where online shopping has become the norm. Last year, back-to-school spending reached new heights, and it's expected to rise even further this year.

The Back-to-school season offers a huge opportunity for retailers across a variety of industries, in that essence, this means that Q3 has the potential to be the most lucrative sales period for many eCommerce owners.

If you’re gearing up for back-to-school sales and want to know how to target buyers and improve your bottom line this summer, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll share eight marketing tactics that will help you target back-to-school shoppers on your eCommerce site.

8 back to school marketing tactics to target back-to-school shoppers

Follow these  marketing strategies to make the most of the back-to-school sales season:

  1. Know what back-to-school shoppers want.
  2. Create back-to-school product collections and landing pages.
  3. Group products based on buyer personas.
  4. Pair your sale with current trends.
  5. Use back-to-school-themed content.
  6. Offer an incentive.
  7. Engage back-to-school shoppers on social media.
  8. Don’t forget late shoppers.

Ready to prepare your eCommerce site for back-to-school shoppers? Then take a deeper dive into these eight marketing tips.

1. Know what back-to-school shoppers want

Your target audience for back-to-school marketing campaigns is not just students but also parents and teachers. They will be interested in a variety of products, from backpacks and school essentials to laptops and other electronics. Back-to-school supplies are a given, but don't ignore other categories like apparel, shoes, sporting goods, books, music, and more.

Not only will those categories offer products that complement school supplies, but back-to-school shopping also tends to fulfil the wants and needs that extend beyond school.

2. Create back-to-school product collections and landing pages

Back-To-School Shoppers Supplies

Make the buying process as easy as possible by creating collections or categories for back-to-school products. This could include everything from back-to-school supplies to back-to-college essentials. You can also create landing pages for the most popular products or product categories, making it easier for shoppers to find what they need.

Since distractions are limited and your website shows them exactly what they need, this will make it easier for back-to-school shoppers to find the items they want and convert them from browsers to buyers.

Another benefit of creating product collections and landing pages is that you can use them in your paid advertising campaigns, so it pays off to create them any time you are running a big sales event.

Related: How to create landing pages that convert? A full guide

3. Group products based on buyer personas

This tactic involves grouping back-to-school products based on different buyer personas. For example, you can create different collections that target moms, college students, and teachers. Consider their needs and wants for the new school year and curate your products accordingly.

For example, you can create different collections that target moms, college students, and teachers:

  • Moms would be interested not only in basic school supplies but they might also look at apparel and sporting goods.
  • College students might focus on electronics as well as furniture and accessories on top of standard school supplies.
  • Teachers, on the other hand, will be looking for school supplies as well as storage bins and boxes, basic toiletries, staples, and computer-related products.

4. Pair your sale with current trends

Stay abreast of current trends and use them to boost your sales. What are kids and parents talking about nowadays? What topics interest them outside of school? You can use a tool like Google Trends to see what is currently trending in your area as well as check out trending hashtags on social media like Twitter, Tiktok, and Instagram. Alternatively, consider using a tool like Think with Google’s Shopping Insights to research how popular certain products are.

For example, if a popular app or a game is trending, could you partner with the developers and offer game or app codes? If a popular movie is due to come out during the back-to-school sale season, can you partner with a local movie theater and offer a set of movie tickets? You are only limited by your imagination here so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas.

Instagram reels help you reach a wide audience, try to discover the popular audios & templates in your region and create reels using them that discuss your products

Related: How to give away free stuff to boost online store sales

5. Marketing tip: Use back-to-school themed content

Use back-to-school-themed content and promote it on social media. You can create a checklist with a review of a certain product, a list of the must-have school supplies, a buying guide, or even a comparison review that evaluates the two most popular products side-by-side. User-generated content can also be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

You can create a review of a certain product, a list of the must-have school supplies, a buying guide, or even a comparison review that evaluates the two most popular products side-by-side.

You can use back-to-school ready templates from the GoDaddy studio that can be customized to your needs

screenshot of searching the term "back to school" in the template section in the GoDaddy studio app.
screenshot of searching the term "back to school" in the template section in the GoDaddy studio app.

All you have to do is search in the templates for “back-to-school” and you will get plenty of easily customizable templates.

All you need is some creativity and a good smart phone and you will be ready to go.

You get free access to the GoDaddy Studio if you use the online store from GoDaddy

Related: 13 ways to level up your visual content with the GoDaddy Studio. And create Facebook ads with 5 simple steps.

Back-To-School Shoppers Books

6. Offer an incentive

Everyone loves a good deal, back-to-school shoppers included, which means offering an incentive can make a huge impact on your bottom line. For starters, consider one of the main reasons for cart abandonment, high shipping costs. Additionally, free shipping is a great incentive for back-to-school shoppers to put that first item in their cart and continue their buying spree. Make sure the products arrive a few days before the first day of school.

Offering free shipping is a good way to combat that problem.

Aside from free shipping, you can offer gift cards and discount codes or a BOGO deal for in-person or in-store purchases to increase the likelihood of the sale and encourage buyers to choose you over your competitor.

Related: How to start an online store in 2023 – full guide

7. Engage back-to-school shoppers on social media

Be active on social media, where your potential buyers are will allow you to get a better understanding of their interests and create a more meaningful relationship with them. You can engage in a conversation with them and show them that your brand has a personal element, which will pay off in your marketing efforts later on.

Use the insight you get from engaging with your buyers to create marketing campaigns that speak to their needs and to promote your store as well as special deals such as a back-to-school sale.

Related: A beginner’s guide to branding your business

8. Don’t forget late shoppers

Lastly, don’t assume that everyone will do their back-to-school shopping early. Some of your buyers might stagger the purchase over the span of a few weeks or wait until the school year is about to start.

You can encourage them to complete their purchase by adding urgency and scarcity reminders closer to the school start date to remind those late shoppers they only have a few days left to snag those deals.

Add a banner with a countdown until schools start, it helps add an urgency for your customers to purchase

Revamping Your Back-to-School Marketing Strategy: Key Insights

As you explore back-to-school marketing ideas, your campaign ideas should involve a mix of traditional and innovative strategies. For instance, launching a brand new product line in early August can capture the attention of shoppers just as they're getting into the swing of the new school year. Influencer marketing is another powerful tool, with popular figures on social media platforms promoting your products to their large followings. This strategy can significantly boost your brand's visibility. Engaging your audience with quizzes about your products can also be a fun and interactive way to promote your brand. These quizzes can be based on real-life scenarios, making them relatable and engaging. Encourage your customers to create a shopping list from your product range, making their shopping experience more organized and efficient. Remember, the goal is to create school content that resonates with your audience and meets their needs during the back-to-school season.

Boost your summer profits with back-to-school sales

Back-to-school sales are one of the longest sale periods of the year so your store has the potential of making the most amount of profit and sales during this time. Use the eight marketing tips in this article to target back-to-school shoppers on your eCommerce site and boost your sales.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Some answers to your frequently asked questions:

How do you market back to school?

Marketing for back-to-school involves understanding your target audience, creating back-to-school product collections and landing pages, grouping products based on buyer personas, pairing your sale with current trends, using back-to-school themed content, offering incentives, engaging shoppers on social media, and not forgetting about late shoppers.

Related: Top 10 Trending Products to Sell Online in the UAE in 2023

What is the objective of a back-to-school marketing plan?

The objective of a back-to-school marketing plan is to increase brand awareness, boost sales, and engage with your audience effectively during the back-to-school shopping season.

Back to school marketing trends include a focus on online shopping due to the pandemic, the use of social media influencers for promotion, offering special discounts and promo codes, and the use of digital channels like email and SEO to reach potential customers.

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