Web retailers everywhere know to brace for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but until recently, Back-to-School season was the exclusive property of brick and mortar retailers.
That’s not the case anymore. In fact, according to National Retail Federation’s Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys, 35.6 percent of back-to-school shoppers and 39.3 percent of back-to-college shoppers intend to spend their money with online businesses.
With combined school spending estimated to top $1.529 trillion, this back-to-school season promises to be a boon to the eCommerce businesses that are ready to serve this huge wave of customers.
If you’re not sure where to start shaping up your online business, try these tips:
- Offer free shipping. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete with Amazon and other big retailers if you don’t offer free shipping. The price of product distribution makes a huge difference to customers, by providing free shipping over a certain dollar amount or across the board, you’ll save a lot of abandoned shopping carts and tire-kicking.
- Adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy. Customers who shop online often do it from anything connected to the web. If your site isn’t responsive to their devices and they can’t carry their shopping cart from device to device, they may choose another retailer to do business with this season.
- Reach out and email your customers. It might seem too simplistic, but by simply reminding your customers that you’re going to be running a promotion or offering a back-to-school coupon available only through email, you’ll bring customers back who might still be trying to decide which retailer to use for their school shopping.
- Launch your store’s app. If you’ve been working on an app for your retail store, now is the time to launch it. 30.2 percent of online shoppers that are tablet users and 27.6 percent of online shoppers with Smartphones will be using their devices to make back-to-college purchases, only 23.8 percent of Smartphone users and 21.5 percent of tablet users say they won’t use their devices to either research or purchase supplies.
- Online personalization. Data-driven, personalized websites are increasingly the norm. If you’ve ever been to Amazon and were given purchase ideas based on your past visits, you’ve seen it in action. Your eCommerce order management platform may already have the power to provide basic personalization to your users, but you’ve got to be the one to enable it on your site. Customers have more choices than ever before, they often need help choosing between several appealing options. Online personalization is a great way to help them by providing suggestions based on the choices of other users with similar profiles and their own spending habits.
It’s not too late to take advantage of this year’s back-to-school sales season. By implementing some changes to the way your website functions and your products are fulfilled, you’ll grab a much bigger market share during the one of the biggest sales events of the year.