The Importance of Planning for Back to School Shopping

Prepare Your eCommerce Plan for Back-to-School

Back to school is a big shopping event and many online retailers say that back to school shopping takes place 1-2 months before school begins. It is crucial to pre-strategize an eCommerce plan that will meet your customers’ needs and your business’ success.

Things to Consider when Planning for Back to School

  1. Review historical data to determine shopping trends unique to your product (i.e. college furniture, school uniforms, office supplies, electronics)
  2. Create ads that will drive qualified traffic
  3. Plan, optimize and execute data feed/SEO strategy
  4. If you plan to have a promotional period, create a promotional code that is salient to the online shopper and easy for your business to track

Forgot to Plan? Tips on Promotional Offers

Special offers drive 54% of back to school sales. However, it is important to note that although promotional offers can increase traffic, it doesn’t necessarily drive sales . Promotional offers can drive sales because it conveys a sense of urgency, and nobody likes to miss out on a good deal.

Discounts on a wide range of products, such as ‘all apparel’ or ‘all accessories’, for instance, primes the mindset of the shopper. Another strategy is to offer a percent off discount on a high minimum purchasing requirement (e.g. buy 4, get 30% off) to motivate consumers to purchase (Wen-Hsien Huang & Chun-Ming Yang, 2015) .  Free shipping also increases traffic, reduces abandoned shopping carts and results in higher average order values.

These strategies create a one stop shop for your customers’ back to school needs; if they couldn’t find the white polo they were looking for, it encourages the shopper to browse the website for other products (Shopatron, 2011).

Setting up an Effective Promo Code

Tips for Titles

  1. Be concise: The short and long titles are limited to 25 and 60 characters respectively
  2. Be specific – mention what the “free gift” is, the minimum purchase, or the percent/dollar amount off
  3. Use an asterisk to list restrictions or additional information

Cannot Include The Following:

  1. Acronyms (‘BOGO’, for buy one get one)
  2. Abbreviations (‘min’, for minimum)
  3. Repetitive language (Extra Extra Savings) or excessive capitalization
  4. Promotional words or dates (Buy Now, Limited Time Offer, This Weekend Only, August 20th-25th)
  5. Event or Holiday (For Back to School)

The promotional code is your creative space, so use it to your advantage!

  1. Make it catchy, memorable, and easy to understand
  2. Brainstorm schemas that are associated with your promotion for ideas
  3. As a rule of thumb, limit your promo code to 1-3 words, such as “CollegeNow”, “School2015”, “Uniforms20Off”, “FallSave10”

Changing the Feed

Product Feed for BTS

It is possible to manipulate the product type in your product feed to create the promotional title. For example, if a promotion on school accessories includes scissors, pencils, and erasers and other school related supplies, the product types can be changed to “school accessories” across the items that are on promotion.

If the product type is not changed, then you cannot say school accessories because Google will interpret the promotion to be on “scissors, pencils and erasers”.

Last minute promotions still require a degree of planning in order to partner with your team and to process changes. Changing product types and manipulating the feed can be a cumbersome process, but we can help.


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