6 Back to School Promotions Ideas to Increase Sales

6 Back to School Promotions Ideas to Increase Sales

Gabriel Nwatarali

Sep 26 2019

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Back to school is always a great opportunity for retail businesses to capture sales. Parents are already in a shopping mood because children need back to school supplies (e.g. pencils, books, etc.). Not to mention that while most kids aren’t ready to go back to school, many parents rejoice quietly. And happy consumers tend to buy more. So you can increase back to school sales with the right back to school promotions. You might even meet your entire quarterly target in one month.

The NRF’s (National Retail Federation) latest annual survey revealed that families plan to spend 26.2 billion this year on back to school shopping. That’s boatloads of cash and your business can capitalize on the ‘craze’ too. All it takes is a little creativity and a great POS or point of sale system to facilitate back to school promotions. Here are some ideas you can try.

1. Offer Back to School Sales or Discounts

Consumers are always on the lookout for savings so offering discounts is practically a sure-fire way of attracting people to your business. The word, “save”, is like a magic term that grabs consumer attention whenever used. Consider offering a back to school discount to attract parents, teachers, and students. These people love to save on everyday items like notebooks, erasers, apparel, and much more. You can take things a step further by extending your back to school sale.

For example, a retailer that’s offering a 30 percent discount on select items can extend the offer for an additional month. The extension should bring in more sales because consumers that are still shopping or late in acquiring their needs/wants will consider the store. When it comes to discounts, make sure you have a way of ensuring that coupons aren’t being applied to the wrong products. Usually, your point of sale system will have a feature that solves this issue. For instance, Shopkeep is a POS system that enables retailers to set conditions such as whose able to apply discounts and how much discount can be applied on items.

2. Leverage School Events

Schools often have events happening and typically appreciate any assistance they get. Helping out in some way can be a good retail promotions strategy. For example, you can offer up supplies such as pencils, paper, toys, etc. depending on their event needs. Prepare a specific offer for event attendees (e.g. buy one, get one free or 50% off items in-store). Then ask the school to pitch your company to parents and students attending the event in exchange.

Today technology makes it easy and affordable to offer promotions. You needn’t spend money printing out coupons since email is more efficient and effective. Try getting attendees to register/subscribe to receive their coupon via email. This gives you a way of re-engaging those consumers in the future. And the bigger the discount, the more email subscribers you’ll gain.

3. Run Back to School Contests

People love free stuff and you can use that to your advantage. Running contests is a good way to reduce marketing cost while winning over more customers. For instance, offer something of value (prize) and enter everyone that buys something into a back to school drawing. Something like “shop this month for a chance to win a brand new Canon XXX camera. A new winner is selected every week throughout the month”.

That’s back to school promotions that’ll attract consumers if marketed properly. Also, contests perform well on social media channels so use them for contest marketing. For example, a retailer who serves residents in New York, NY, can market their contests to people in the city using Facebook. They can also limit their targeting to anyone within a certain mile radius. Hence, further increasing the precision of their ad campaign. Be sure to celebrate each customer that wins every week and with customer permission, announce it on social.

4. Back to School Loyalty Programs

Just because they bought from you before, doesn’t mean they’ll be back. A back to school loyalty program is a good way of ensuring people who take advantage of your retail promotions return next season. And loyalty programs are super-easy to implement via a POS system.

5. Host a Back to School Party

Consider hosting an in-store back to school party with a live DJ and top things off with free giveaways (e.g. snacks, coupons, etc.). You probably want to keep the music low enough so it can be enjoyed without hindering the shopping experience. Ideally, any coupon giveaway should be something consumers can use in the future.

For example, an electronics store could give away Halloween or Thanksgiving weekend coupons. Maybe email the coupons to everyone instead of handing them out on paper that they’ll likely lose. Though you’re free to do both.

6. Increase Inventory for Products in Demand

Whatever you sold last year isn’t necessarily going to be in demand today so conduct proper research to stock the right products. Ideally, you want to increase stock for items that interest consumers the most. This way, you won’t have to worry about running out of stock. You’re losing money whenever a customer wants an item that you don’t have in stock.

One way of estimating product demand is by contacting the local school districts for all your retail outlets. Ask them for a list of supplies and other product requirements. This helps the school district too because it means more students will have accurate supplies. Stock up on fast-moving everyday items as well because the demand for those will naturally increase on busy months. Plus make sure you have a reliable way of tracking inventory items. Many POS systems like TouchBistro can do this easily and alert you whenever items are about to run out of stock.

Back to School Promotions Are a Big Deal

Back to school signals the end of summer. Around this time vacations are typically over and children are getting ready for class. That means there are more consumers to sell your products to, making back to school a great opportunity for increasing sales.

Consider using some of the back to school promotions ideas in this article. However, there’s practically no limit to what you can try. So get the team together for a brainstorming session. Think outside the box to challenge the status quo or differentiate your business from other companies offering back to school promotions. Finally, the best way to capitalize on back to school season is by starting your retail promotions early. This will help you increase back to school sales.

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