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A Crash Course For An A+ Back To School Strategy

Before we begin discussing this year’s syllabus, it’s time to capitalise on 2019’s best back to school strategies. Back to School (BTS) and Back to College (BTC) season is a big conversion opportunity for brands.

In fact, it’s forecast that BTS and BTC spending will reach $80.70 billion in 2019 in the U.S. alone. Families with kids in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will face expenses ranging from school supplies at $239.82 and electronics at $203.44. College students are not exempt for costs either, as BTC students plan to spend $148.54 on clothing and accessories and $234.69 on electronics. As the season seems to start sooner and sooner every year, it’s time to get busy preparing for the BTS and BTC rush.

You’ll have to do your homework to get extra marks in your BTS eCommerce strategy. Want to get a gold star? Keep reading to get top grades. No all nighters required. 

Lesson #1 Math, The Importance Of Data

Let’s start off the day with numbers. Either hate them or love them, they are an integral part of any eCommerce strategy. Taking a look at quantitative and qualitative data allows you to properly understand the opportunities your brand has to increase conversion and ROI. 

By effectively analysing the data that you have on hand, you’ll be able to better allocate funding to the appropriate channels and be able to keep an eye on your competitors. However, it’s not exactly easy to keep track of everything, especially if you have thousands of SKU’s in your inventory. This is a time when taking notes just will not cut it. 

When it comes to data, eTail Monitoring is your friend. ChannelSight can help you capture price and stock level fluctuations for your entire retail portfolio for each individual SKU. Through this, you’ll be able to monitor price points and their impact on conversion, while managing item available across all major retail partners. You need access to this data in order to allow your brand to better understand price, availability and performance.

Having this in depth access gives your brand the opportunity to monitor real time data to identify price and coverage changes. It also allows you to monitor your competitors on like-for-like products. Furthermore, having the ability to monitor your entire brand portfolio has the added bonus of empowering a brand when negotiating with retailers.

It’s a simple equation: ChannelSight’s Solutions + You = eCommerce Success. 

Your homework: Learn more about ChannelSight’s range of eCommerce solutions here.

Lesson #2 English, Make Social & Content Your Friend

Who knew that English would come in handy in the digital age? There’s nothing more mortifying than a misspelled Tweet, especially when it’s your brand that’s made the mistake. Mortification aside, a good grasp of language is crucial to your social media and content strategy. 

Brands and retailers have a huge opportunity to make back to school fun for its target audience. They have the opportunity to inspire, delight and entice consumers with their digital marketing and content campaigns. 

Staples, the school supply giant, has taken their BTS and BTC social media presence to another level with their #ThankATeacher campaign.

Say Thanks to a Teacher Today

Teachers like Ms. Hodgin-Frick play a pivotal role in shaping kids’ futures, yet are among the most underappreciated individuals in our society. If you’re one of the 83% of people whose lives have been positively impacted by a teacher, it’s never too late to thank them. Share your appreciation on Twitter or Instagram, tag @StaplesStores, and include the hashtags #ThankATeacher and #Sweepstakes for a chance to win their school $10,000 in Staples gift cards. No pur. nec. 13+. Ends: 9/14/19. Rules: staples.com/thankateacher

Posted by Staples Stores on Friday, August 16, 2019

 

Teachers are one of the most important aspects of back to school. They’re the ones who are educating the students and often they are also buying school supplies for themselves and their students. Why is this advertisement for Staples so powerful? It evokes an emotional response and reminds both parents and students of the significant role that teachers play in their lives. 

Why is emotional marketing so powerful? Studies demonstrate that people are more likely to rely on their emotions rather than information when making decisions. Emotional responses such as this ad from Staples can actually influence a shopper’s intent and decisions more than traditional marketing. Don’t believe us? Out of 1,400 successful advertising campaigns, those with highly emotional content performed nearly twice as well as those who did not evoke any reactions. 

So think with your heart and you may find that your campaigns have more influence on potential buyers. 

Your homework: Social media is more important than ever. Learn how to optimise and streamline your paid and organic campaigns is essential to understanding which campaigns are having an impact. Need a hand? Our Dynamic Social Feed can help.

Lession #3 Art, Don’t Be Afraid Of Creativity

Let’s be honest, there is a lot of BTS and BTC content that gets regurgitated every single year. Yes, the 10 essential dorm items or the 5 things your preschooler cannot leave home without, are blog posts that you have seen again, and again, and again. Why not take a page from art class and let your inner creative be a driving force in creating something that makes your brand stand out from competitors? 

We are currently loving these two very different, but equally innovative videos for Amazon and Gap. They both feature very different tones, but both offer something fresh, enticing and imaginative. 

Global eCommerce giant, Amazon, takes on BTS evoking the fun of another holiday. Creating a fun countdown, similar to New Years Eve, Amazon is able to showcase their products, the kids who love them and how it fits into their lives. They manage to do this with little verbal narrative, but the point comes across clear as day; it’s time for back to school!

 

Amazon is no stranger to dominating the BTS and BTC rush. From lightning fast Prime Shipping, to Prime Day itself in July, they know how to utilise the back to school rush to their benefit. In 2018, 91% of shoppers who planned to make a purchase on Prime Day said they would make a BTS purchase. Furthermore, as shoppers estimated to spend $167 on Prime Day, 70$ of that would go towards BTS items

Gap fearlessly tackled BTS with this video promoting confidence for kids. We love the motivating smiles of these kids who believe so fiercely in themselves. 

Once again, similarly to Amazon, Gap manages to generate buzz around their brand with feel good content. The video does not feature clothes as the main feature yet it is memorable and emotional. With nearly 500,000 views on Youtube alone, it will easily remain in the minds of parents shopping for their kids come this back to school season. 

Your Homework: How will your brand stand out from the rest? Put your creativity to the test and think about your target audience. 

Lession #4 History, Utilise Previous Campaigns 

It’s been widely agreed that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. For better or for worse, everyone has something they can learn from the past. You can resit the exam, but it’ll be no help to you if you didn’t study (again). 

Is your brand looking at previous trends and big sales events? Are you looking at competitors? Was your Black Friday a major success but your Prime Day could have seen stronger results? Now isn’t the time to beat yourself up, but to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. 

Numbers don’t lie. See which social media posts are gaining the most interactions, which blog posts are attracting the most attention and what platforms work best for your brand. Take it a step further and find out where your traffic is coming from, what your shopping cart abandonment rates are and how your brand is converting. 

Your Homework: Find yourself an expect. Contact a member of the ChannelSight team to show you how detailed analytics can help you plan for the future based on your history. 

Back To School Study Guide

We hope that you took notes, but for those of you who haven’t, here is everything we covered today:

  • Unlike learning the pythagorean theorem, data is your friend. Utilise it to make the most of your eCommerce strategy.
  • Your grasp of the English language has finally come in handy in the age of social media. Learn how to optimise and streamline your paid and organic campaigns to better understand which campaigns are having an impact.
  • Let your creativity run wild to engage with a broader audience. No we don’t mean with fingerpaints. Make content that appeals to individuals beyond a sales pitch to leave viewers with a memorable impression. 
  • You should be looking back even if you’re heading towards the future. Past results hold good opportunities for learning and figure strategy planning.

Congratulations, you’ve graduated from our crash course in BTS strategy! Want to see how ChannelSight’s wide range of solutions can work for your brand? Book a demo with an expert to learn more.

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Angela BruniA Crash Course For An A+ Back To School Strategy

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