2 girls running for a yellow school bus to go back to school

7 fuss-free back to school marketing ideas for online stores

You’re here looking for back to school marketing campaign ideas that will work for your ecommerce, and we want to give that to you! Here’s our fuss-free list of ideas for this busy time of year: 

1. Collect school equipment lists 

Many schools provide a list of everything a child will need when returning to classes. Collect these, and work out which items your store sells or could stock. If you gather several lists from the schools in the areas you can deliver to, label your products by school/area on your page too. 

If you discover that your store doesn’t currently sell anything required on school lists, you may want to stock up or source new providers. An alternative when pushed for time would be to partner up with other local store owners: stationery shops, children’s clothes, sports equipment, and other online shops might be amenable to cross sell your products on their site in exchange for you promoting their back-to-school wares.

2. Create back-to-school bundles 

This is one of the best back-to-school marketing campaign ideas that very few stores do well: Once you have several items on your store that are listed as “required” by schools, create bundles. Advertise these at the top of your website, label them clearly “back to school bundle,” and segment them by age group. If you sell products for all sorts of interests consider grouping back-to-school bundles by interest, such as cartoon characters or favorite sports. 

This marketing strategy does require forethought, a little website adjustment, and clear logistics so that nothing offered in these bundles is sold out. You might also add a discount to the bundles but the majority of parents will just be pleased but you saved them some time trawling websites to find every item on their school’s equipment list. 

Stationary flatlay illustrating back to school bundles

Stores gain extra points in the eyes of parents and caregivers if they are able to prepare not only the items on their school’s list but also complimentary items that make the school run easier. 

3. Prepare a thoughtful gift for families 

Consider all the things that caregivers are asked to do during the school year: collect stationary, supervise projects at home, send in materials, prepare bake sales… The list goes on. Can you help them feel more prepared ahead of time? An extra 2 masks for school drop off or a handheld game that might keep kids occupied in the car would be appreciated by families who are about to go back to the school run. 

Maybe your online store sells organizers or boxes that can be used to transport cupcakes or costumes for the school play. Perhaps your online store is a provider of baseball caps or windbreaks, which are very useful for school sports days. 

Consider sending a freebie with any purchase from your store in the month before schools restart. If you do, leave a note indicating how and when you like it to be of use, for example:

  • Here’s a little something to help you on the school run. We hope it’s not as manic as you fear!
  • I had these when my kids were at school and they saved us on many occasions! We hope they’re just as useful to you and yours.

4. Make parent-oriented explainer videos for your products 

You probably think your products are super easy to use. That might be the case, but do your buyers know every use they have? Summer is a great time to start planting the seed of purchase in shoppers minds with videos of your products’ many uses on social media

Before the back to school rush, target flustered parents with simple, clear explainer videos. If they see how your products will help them on a day-to-day basis, they’re more likely to seek you out or say “yes” when their kids ask for your products themselves.

5. Make purchasing customer-friendly

Mobile-friendly websites, payment options, simple search functions, as well as clear product descriptions and realistic photos should always be a priority. Whether you are revamping your site as part of back to school marketing or simply using your summer wisely, parents will thank you if your website is easy to navigate, most importantly — they will be more likely to buy from you. 

Online stores should be improving the customer experience at every opportunity so why not use the return to classes to inspire the order of your products on site and new stock!

6. Check your price competitiveness 

Think parents don’t compare your prices with other providers? You could not be more wrong. Families with kids might be the most frugal and careful spenders so, while branding is always important for online stores, your prices need to match those of competitors. There’s little advice that we can give you that’s better than the knowledge that: parents always shop around!

7. Provide special discounts for teachers 

The most generous thing you can do as an online store, which is also a great back to school marketing idea, is to provide discounts for teachers. Many of us are aware of the importance of teachers, even more so than before, now that we have homeschooled our kids through quarantine. Show your good will and support of their profession, and drive your own sales with teacher discounts.

Family packing bags to go back to school

The most important back to school marketing action: Distribution

Marketing people know how important distribution is for any campaign. It’s not enough to ideate a new product or service; you need to consider how you’ll communicate any offer, sale, or benefit to your prospects. 

So, whichever campaign you implement for your online store, plan a distribution strategy that includes these tried-and-tested channels for ecommerce:

  1. Email marketing
  2. SMS marketing
  3. Social media
  4. Geo-targeted advertising

If you’re interested in becoming a marketing expert, you can get some ideas for your back to school email marketing with this holiday marketing-focused blog.

Too busy to distribute: The smart store’s shortcut

Lack the time to learn about digital marketing? Hand over the hard work to Aument. The platform integrates with your Shopify store to distribute your back-to-school marketing offers to the right people, at the right time.

If you’re not convinced an automation tool is right for your Shopify store, ask yourself: 

Do you target teens, parents, families, or teachers mostly? In other words, which is your priority segment? 

Maybe you haven’t had the time or resources to put into audience segmentation to know which are your top prospective buyers, but if you try Aument, there’s no need to choose just one, or do any audience analysis at all! Aument does the leg work so you can boost retention and sales, for your ecommerce with targeted back to school email marketing. 

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