3 Tips to Help Boost Back-to-School Sales

Jul 31, 2013 2:41 PM  By

back_to_school_chalk_board_300Even though a majority of merchants already have their back-to-school game plan in place, it’s still not too late to make the most out of the $72.5 billion shopping season, according to a recent Shopatron blog post.

The back-to-school season typically runs from July through Labor Day, according to Shopatron, although many retailers continue to run sales well into the early part of the school year to take advantage of students and parents in need of school supplies.

Even though Shoptron is expecting to see $72.5 billion in sales this year (which includes apparel, shoes, supplies, and electronics) for back-to-school and back-to-college sales, families are expected to spend an average of $634.78 compared to the $688.68 spent per family last year.

But that doesn’t mean that retailers need to look at the 2013 back-to-school season as a loss. In fact, according to Shopatron, there are three moves merchants can make right now to help boost sales before school is back in session.

Consider Free Shipping
According to Shopatron, parents are on the lookout for deals this year and one that has become very effective time and time again is free shipping. Shopatron states that shoppers rate high shipping costs as “one of their biggest gripes with online sales.” In fact, Shopatron also said that “three out of four online shoppers say they’ve added to their cart in order to qualify for free shipping.” So not only can free shipping help secure a sale, it can also fill up a consumer’s cart.

Reassure With Reviews
A product rating or review can do wonders for your sales, according to Shopatron. Shoppers want to read about and hear what other consumers think of a particular product and a good review can go a long way. Retailers need to accept ratings and reviews (good or bad) because social is now becoming one of the best ways to convert an online shopper, according to Shopatron. Ratings and reviews, Shopatron said, is also becoming a consumer expectation.

Provide Useful Resources
Back-to-school sales are not just for the students, according to Shopatron, parents need an education too. So merchants need to provide useful advice about their products other than product pages, such as a blog. Shopatron said that merchants should “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,” Shopatron said.

  • Smartgift

    Great recommendations, Erin! In many ways, the methods that retailers can use to boost back-to-school sales mirror best practices for the next major shopping season — the winter holidays. As with back-to-school game plans, retailers have finalized or are finalizing their strategy for the winter holiday season, which will kick off on Cyber Monday. Retailers can apply all three of your recommendations to help boost their online gift sales. The right e-commerce technologies implemented in the right way can further help boosting retailers’ top and bottom lines during all important seasons. — Monika Kochhar, CEO, Smartgift