Every fall millions of children, teenagers, and even adults head back to school. It’s probably not everyone’s favorite moment of the summer, but it’s inevitable and necessary. And we spend a lot of money doing it. Projections for back to school spending for 2018 hover around a cool $83 billion. So, as a retailer, how can you get a slice of this big ol’ pie? You can start by coming up with a great back to school marketing campaign.
And you don’t need to have a retail store dedicated solely to the niche. These days back to school shopping includes clothing, accessories, electronics, furniture, books, stationery, and athletic gear, among others. Get creative by even using a small part of your store to promote some back to school gear. So let’s talk about a few of the ways that your retail store can join the frenzy and make both kids and parents love your store.
- Embrace Digital Marketing and eCommerce
- Follow the Trends
- Giveaways, Contests, and Charities
- Create a Better Store Experience with Your Marketing Campaign
- Be a Helpful Source of Information
5 Back to School Marketing Ideas
1. Embrace Digital Marketing and eCommerce
Digital advertising for short-term promotions, such as a back to school sale, can greatly increase your foot traffic and sales. A well-curated Instagram grabs attention, especially from younger people. Online shopping has eCommerce now account for about 11% of retail sales and that number is rising fast. Your customers will be ecstatic to order their favorite back to school products from the beach rather than dragging the whole family in last minute.
2. Follow the Trends
Keeping up with current back to school trends can easily get overwhelming. But even to embrace a few will benefit your back to school promotions. Students are more diverse than ever, and their interests are as diverse as they are. Whatever trends you promote in your store will be sure to resonate with some people.
Best Buy ran a great campaign in 2016 with Adam Devine. They even released a unique set of emojis you could download. The emoji stuff may have been a little excessive, but it worked. Devine’s comedy resonated with the students and awkward college moments resonated with the parents.
Kleenex took a slightly different approach, but no less effective. They tugged at the heartstrings with their “Commitment to Care” back to school campaign. The video features middle school students sharing their worries and concerns with heading back to school. No matter how far removed you are from middle school, you know the feeling. And nostalgia is powerful. Kleenex is also a great example of a company fitting back to school promotions into their product. Check out the brilliant ad below and you’ll be reaching for the nearest Kleenex.
3. Giveaways, Contests, and Charities
This is one of the most effective promotional tactics that every retailer should consider. A giveaway can generate the viral publicity that every retailer dreams of. It’s not an easy tactic because it takes a strategic analysis of your inventory and costs. You must be sure that any potential losses would not be catastrophic to business. Partnering a giveaway with influential brands or making it into a contest are good ways of increasing interest and revenue. Plus kids love contests.
Genuine charity is also a great promotional tool. Back to school shopping can get expensive. And it’s an unavoidable cost for every parent. If you can help some local families with a few essentials, you’ll be giving back and attracting positive attention.
4. Create a Better Store Experience with Your Marketing Campaign
See related: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Customer’s In-Store Experience
Focus on the kids! Sure, it’s great to market to teachers, parents, and college students, but the majority of the money is coming from what children want. A great way of attracting their attention is by incorporating a more engaging store experience. It doesn’t have to be anything too difficult to organize or set up. Set up coloring stations with different crayons, markers, and notebooks. Host an event that will bring in groups of kids and parents, alike. It’s an excuse for everyone to get together and a great way to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
5. Be a Helpful Source of Information
Consumers don’t always know what they want. And when that’s the case, they appreciate help from retailers who know their products. This is especially the case for parents shopping for their kids. They want to be spending their money on the best products at the best value. Help each customer make an informed decision on their back to school gear and you’ll have plenty of happy families leaving your store with their school essentials.
Don’t forget to check out our other seasonal/holiday marketing guides below:
Every retail owner should be looking for their niche in the back-to-school frenzy. Find a spot that works for you and your store. And check out KORONA’s POS solution. It can help you set up loyalty programs, plan promotions, run inventory analyses and much more. Click below to try out the software!