It Takes One to Know One: Score More Back to School Sales with a Back to School Marketing Mindset

5 Back to School Marketing Ideas: Understanding the Back to School Shopper’s Mindset

Back to school shopping provides golden opportunities for those retailers that understand how to reach consumers with the right back to school marketing messages at the right time and in the right place.  Understanding the mindset, needs and desires of those tasked with back to school shopping can help you refine your back to school marketing tactics in order to score more back to school sales this summer.

Back to school shoppers often find themselves distracted, busy and fund-depleted.  To build your business during the busy back to school shopping season, you need to understand the mindset, needs and desires of your customers and prospects who are responsible to help prepare students for the coming school year.  Here are five back to school marketing ideas that can help you grow your business and increase sales with back to school shoppers.

  • Understand that Back to School Shoppers Are Extremely Time and Attention-Limited

You will have to communicate more often and speak in short, clear marketing bursts to get the attention of back to school shoppers, who simply have too much to accomplish to do much research or value comparison.  Focus on the one or two most compelling reasons that back to school shoppers should visit your business and make it as easy as possible for them to purchase what they need most from your business.

  • Make It Easy and Obvious: Facilitate Shopping with Back to School Lists

If there is one thing that the back to school shopper appreciates, it’s lists. There are simply too many things to remember to remember everything!  Facilitate shopping for back to school services or products at your business by creating checklists and displaying them at the point of sale as well as sending them out via email, direct mail and posting them on your website, blog and social networks.

  • Make the Most of Merchandising and Scripts at the Point of Sale

Back to school shoppers are often in a hurry to get in and get out with what they need. They aren’t going to have as much time as they usually do to window shop, browse or make product comparisons.  Be prepared to take advantage of the one moment when you have their undivided attention:  at the point of sale. Be sure that you have point of sale displays featuring other items they are likely to need or impulse items that their kids might want.  Likewise, prepare scripts and questions that all staff should be asking at the point of sale to suggest other items they may need or students may want.

  • Recognize Financial Constraints of Back to School Shoppers and Reward Loyal Customers with a Special “Back to School Reward”

You may have customers postponing their own regular purchases due to financial constraints that force them to rechannel funds toward back to school purchases – why not reward loyal customers with a special offer on their regularly-purchases services or products in order to help them out this time of year?  It’s a great way to let them know that you care about them and thank them for their loyalty!  You can also help them to see the value of your products, services and promotions by speaking about the additional benefits or cost savings (over the short and / or the long term) they can experience by doing business with you.

  • Don’t Forget the Post Back to School Shopping Season

Many consumers postpone purchases of items which will be needed for the school year but don’t necessarily need to be purchased by the first day of school.  Create campaigns after the school year starts for items that will be needed as the school year progresses, like jackets and other colder weather gear, fall and winter sports equipment, clothing, accessories or hairstyles for fall school dances, etc.  If you sell items that students consume and need to replace throughout the year (like paper, pencils, office supplies and other short-life school supplies), you can also create special promotions throughout the year to help back to school shoppers restock items which have been depleted.  Use bag stuffers, social networks and email marketing to give customers reasons to come back again during or after the back to school shopping season.

Want more?  Check out this infographic by that tells you how back to school shoppers will shop and what they want when they do: 

what back to school shoppers want



My 2015 Small Business Marketing Calendar is available on — in print or digital format. It is absolutely packed with marketing inspiration and a working content marketing plan you can use to attract – engage – retain and motivate your customers in the coming year.

2015 small business marketing calendar template


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  1. […] Online Business Success — Greg MearesOnline Jobs For College Students – Real Niche MarketingIt Takes One to Know One: Score More Back to School Sales with a Back to School Marketing MindsetAC_FL_RunContent = […]

  2. […] needs and wants for school, and each family member often has a unique shopping list. If you provide the list, you’ll reduce a huge amount of stress. Send lists out via email, post them on your website […]

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