3 Tips to Maximize Back-To-School Sales
While it’s wise to start planning early for the holiday shopping rush, you shouldn’t neglect the season at hand. Back to school remains the second biggest season of the year for retail. At stake are $72.5 billion in sales of apparel, shoes, supplies, and electronics.
The back-to-school shopping season typically lasts from the middle of July through Labor Day (Sept. 2), extending beyond the first day of school as more parents stretch their shopping further into the school year. Though back-to-school shopping is sure to be a big winner for online merchants this year (Shop.org found that online back-to-school shoppers plan to spend 41% more than other shoppers), analysts expect that overall sales will drop below the shopping splurge that occurred in 2012.
That’s not to say that there isn’t money to be made; rather, the competition for back-to-school sales will be fierce as brands and retailers jockey to get their share. The big thing to keep in mind this year is that the average parent will still spend a lot (about $634.78 per person, according to the National Retail Federation), but they will want to find the best deal possible.
And with that in mind, here are three tips and resources to help you maximize sales before the first bell rings.1. Consider Free Shipping
Parents are on the hunt for deals this year, and one deal that has proven effective time and time and again is free shipping. Shoppers rank high shipping costs as one of their biggest gripes with online sales. More so, comScore found that three out of four online shoppers say they’ve added to their cart in order to qualify for free shipping.
>>>Find more free shipping information in our blog, “5 Ways to Convince Your Boss to Implement a Free Shipping Promotion.”2. Reassure With Reviews
Reassuring online shoppers is easy, but leaving them in the dark can be self destructive. More than half of moms trust each other more than anyone else when it comes to making purchases, according Bazaarvoice. In other words, don’t expect that parents will hand their money to you just because you can vouch for the quality of your products. It takes social proof to convert today’s online shoppers. Customers expect to see such features as peer reviews and customer recommendations on product pages.
>>>Learn more about the value of social proof in our webinar, “Improving Conversion Rates and User Experience.”3. Provide Useful Resources
Parents need education, too. They’re pressed for time and patience while trying to balance work and home life, all while getting their children ready for the new year. If you can help them by providing useful advice, they will return in kind. If you sell clothing, for example, consider writing a blog that shows parents how to make the most of their budget with long-lasting outfit ideas. In other words, you need to create compelling content in order to transform your website from a mere online marketplace, to a useful resource parents will turn to while they’re shopping.
>>>Watch our webinar, “7 Steps to a Successful eCommerce Content Marketing Program,” to learn more about the value of quality content.