Digital Marketing

Last Update: 15.01.2024

6 min


Published on: 21.07.2023

Digital Marketing

Last Update: 15.01.2024

6 min

Back-to-School Marketing: Tips for 2024


Sena Özkurt

Content Marketing Specialist

Published on: 21.07.2023

Summer is coming to an end, and paving the way for one of the biggest e-commerce shopping seasons of the year – back-to-school (BTS). Back-to-school marketing strategies will help your e-commerce website to flourish during this period.

Thousand of families, teachers, and college students will shop for their needs like electronics, clothing, school supplies, arts and crafts supplies, shoes and so much more for a successful semester.

Back-to-school spending reached $41.5 billion for families with small children in 2023. Moreover, most of the shoppers in the US now plan to shop as early as late July; whereas traditionally most of the spending occurs in early August. Online shopping remains a top choice for families with small children and back-to-college shoppers.

Let’s not forget that this e-commerce holiday is not exclusive to students and their families; it is a period of time that is motivational for all ages. It carries a similar sense of fresh beginnings as the New Year.

If you want to help your customers cross the items they need off their lists using your e-commerce website, this article on back-to-school marketing campaigns will assist you on your planning journey.

When Does Back-to-School Start?

Back-to-school targeting varies on the school year start dates all around the globe. Here are some common dates when school starts in the Northern and Southern hemispheres:

  • United States and Europe: from mid-July to mid-September, depending on the state
  • Canada: early September
  • Mexico: end of August
  • Brazil: first week of February
  • New Zealand, Australia: January, February
  • Japan: April 1

10 Back-to-School Marketing Ideas

Start Your Back-to-School Campaign Planning Early

We recommend starting to plan campaigns as early as the summer begins, and your promotions can begin in mid-July or late July.

Before delving into the intricacies of marketing campaigns, however, you should decide on which groups of customers you want to target mostly, as well as which products you want to focus on for your promotions. Checking the search terms and the sales of the previous years, as well as your current inventory would help you decide.

Related Article: Brand Awareness 101: How To Measure It?

Choose The Right Products

Depending on your specialties, by choosing the right products, you can boost your sales more. Products like school supplies, tech products, books, accessories, healthy snacks, sports equipment, bags, and clothing items like hoodies, leggings, and hats are always safe choices.

Related Article: Top 10 Trending Products To Sell Online

Back-to-School Promotions

To attract your customers with promotions, you have various options, like percentage-based or cash discounts, bundle deals, free shipping options, promo codes, as well as student and teacher discounts. These promotions may be planned for limited time periods and/or only for specific products.

In addition to the promotions, offering gift cards to your customers also has the potential to increase your total sales. With gift cards, customers who wish to buy gifts for students in their lives will also have the option to purchase your products.

Bundling your products in various kits, or offering other products during the checkout, and decreasing the prices accordingly, will also help you clear out your inventory quickly and easily.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a significant strategy to help parents and college students shop for school supplies. Embellished with surprise discounts, advice about back-to-school shopping or the upcoming new school year, personalized email content, and discounts make all the difference.

It is highly critical to coordinate the timing and design of your email marketing efforts. Shoppers will, first and foremost, look for the opportunities you offer; use both your subject line and the first line of copy in your email body to incentivize your customers to open the email as soon as they see it.

While planning your strategies, also working on your back-to-school marketing slogans, in addition to your promotions, can strengthen the final results of the campaigns.

Targeting both the early birds and the procrastinators would also boost your sales, especially if you use the power of fear of missing out with limited discounts, and countdowns.

The power of automated cart reminder emails should also be used to convert carts that were abandoned by potential customers for various reasons. Additionally, offering discounts in the abandoned cart reminder emails should speed up the process.

Related Article: What is Email Marketing?

Create Valuable BTS Content on Social Media 

Effective social media campaigns have the potential to build customer awareness of your brands, products, and back-to-school promotions.

Following the trends of that particular late summer, you can organize essay or photo contests, share trivia and quotes, and ask your customers to send their back-to-school photos or past photos with a specific hashtag you choose.

Sharing information about back-to-school products you designated for your campaigns, as well as content for back-to-school tips like back-to-school hairstyles, outfit ideas, organization, and decoration ideas, is also helpful.

Additionally, you can take advantage of influencer marketing. Influencers may promote your brand for you – especially if they are parents or college students

Update Your Storefront to Match the BTS Season

If you want to pass the BTS season with flying colors, change your landing page to match the schooltime aesthetic. This way you will be able to attract your customers with your back-to-school products and promotions the minute they click on your website. Plus, your landing page will look brighter than ever.

Showing your products or brands on the landing page in specific categories will ease the burden on your customers and help them develop purchasing ideas more quickly.

Related Article: Top 5 Digital Skills You Should Learn

Create Valuable Resources on Your Blog

Here are a few back-to-school content ideas you can try:

  • Blog posts and shopping guides about the products you recommend your customers to purchase.
  • Best back-to-school suggestions for students, parents, and teachers so that they have a successful and happy new school year.
  • Detailed product reviews that are written by specialists or influencers. 
  • Downloadable checklists and shopping lists for your customers.

Team Up With an Education Organization

Offering your customers donation options at the checkout is worth considering for three special reasons; the opportunity for your company to acquire brand loyalty, support important causes, and make your customers feel good about themselves.

You can donate to local schools or nonprofit organizations specialized in education. It is also possible to throw special events on the first day or week of the school year to introduce your products or services to the children, parents, and teachers, and you can attract them with special giveaways, hosts, influencers, contests, or donations. 

Include a Gift With Each Purchase

Gift with purchase (GWP) is a great way that leads to high-value brand recognition, and high customer satisfaction. 

You can offer special gifts to your customers who purchase from your website during a specific timeframe or within a certain amount. Especially the necessity to acquire a minimum order quantity amount may increase basket size and average order value. 

Gifts also maintain customer loyalty and may encourage repeat purchases.

It’s also important to create urgency; by deciding on a deadline for the promotion or letting your customers know that the gifts are only available while stocks last.

Increase Your Reach with a Refer-a-Friend Option

Your most loyal customers can become your strongest advocates by inviting their family members and friends to purchase your products as well. Using a referral link or a special code, your customers will have the chance to easily and quickly suggest your brand to their network.

For your refer-a-friend program, it is critical to design a referral program that is fit for your customers and your brand. For example, you will need to decide how to design and promote the referral experience. 

By preparing your referral marketing strategy, you can make it easier for your customers to refer others. Your brand may incentivize your potential and existing customers for their efforts with discounts, cash, or freebies to build further customer trust if the potential customers invited to purchase your products also complete a purchase.

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Sena Özkurt

Content Marketing Specialist

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