5 eCommerce Marketing Strategies for Back-to-School Shopping

5 eCommerce Marketing Strategies for Back-to-School Shopping

It’s that time of year, again. As the carefree days of summer come to an end, back-to-school season is almost upon us. Need a few tips to make the most of this back-to-school shopping season? Our CAKE team has some sweet ideas for you!

With the school year soon to be in full swing, now is the time to start reeling in potential back to school shoppers. Whether they’re returning shoppers or first-time purchasers, here are five strategies to help your brand reach consumers and drive purchases for the school season. 


Promotions and special offers are a great way to attract potential shoppers. From special discounts to free shipping, promotions remind returning shoppers that you value their business and reward their customer loyalty. 

Dropping an email to shoppers offering a discount with a special, relevant code (i.e., “Back 2 School”) is an effective method of drawing back, especially cart abandoners (shoppers who began the check-out process but did not complete their order). Email promotions and special offers serve not only as a friendly reminder to shopping cart abandoners that there are still items in their cart but also offer a motive to purchase. 

“Enter to win” promotions are another great way to draw back-to-school shoppers to your page. Gift cards, raffles, and sweepstakes not only entice and lure consumers to your webpage but also generate excitement amongst shoppers about your brand. Sweepstakes, raffles, and giveaways are also a great way to introduce the idea of bundle-shopping to your page (we will give you a taste of bundling later on!). 

Evaluate Data from Previous Seasons

Using data from the previous year is useful in tracking revenue from the back-to-school shopping surge. As the data reflects, this uptick in revenue during the weeks leading up to the start of school can be used to mark when your brand should begin offering back-to-school promotions. 

For example, if your business saw the greatest surge in seasonal revenue (from back-to-school-related merchandise, especially) between August 1st and August 29th, then your brand should consider marketing special offers, deals, and other back-to-school promotions to shoppers in the week before the initial uptick. Continue to ping your consumers a few times over the course of this period to maximize their purchasing opportunities. 

Email Campaigns

Perhaps the best way to reach shoppers directly this back-to-school season is through email campaigns. Although there is always a risk of spamming customers' inboxes with information they’re likely to overlook or delete, email campaigns are a more personal marketing method, especially for returning shoppers. Personalized email campaigns (including a customer's name, a note, and a special offer) create a customer-to-brand relationship. 

Use an email distribution list to ping to shoppers, reminding them to make preparations for the back-to-school season. These reminders should include useful information and tools for your shoppers, such as checklists, helpful hints and ideas, or links to resourceful content. 

Here’s where promotions come in: Include a special offer or reward for email subscribers (free shipping, coupon codes, discounts, etc.). 

Email campaigns will be a great secret ingredient this back-to-school season, especially when it comes to winning back those shoppers who have abandoned carts. Send these shoppers a friendly reminder (i.e., “Forgetting Something?” or “We Miss You! Come Back To Your Cart”), use call-to-action words (i.e., “Get Them Before They’re Gone”), and/or offer a special promotion (i.e., “Free Shipping, Just For You” or “Limited Time Offer: 15% Off Your Purchase”). 

Social Media

Social media platforms are another great way to reach and connect with shoppers this season. While not as personal as email campaigns, using your brand's social media platforms to run promotions is a sweet way to reach your consumers (in case they didn’t catch the promo in their inbox), especially repeat shoppers. 

Run your promotions through Instagram stories, feature your brand’s back-to-school collection in Facebook ads, and stream your special offers and back-to-school sweepstakes on your Twitter feed. 

Tweak Your Website

A few minor changes to your webpage can promise a substantial increase in revenue this back-to-school season. So, where do you start?

Pop-ups are an effective addition to any webpage, as they can function to bring shoppers’ attention to items on sale or draw awareness to special deals and limited-time offers on back-to-school-related products. Using call-outs and including promos in any back-to-school themed pop-ups (i.e., “Get Ready For Back-To-School With Free Shipping'') motivates shoppers to explore your page and products further. 

Another minor piece of maintenance that is crucial to your site is to include a back-to-school tab in your brand’s navigation that features all back-to-school-related products. This makes your site's back-to-school selection easier to find and navigate for shoppers.

A third and final change that is sure to drive up your brand’s back-to-school sales is offering bundle shopping or one-click shopping options. For the back-to-school seasons, shoppers will be looking to buy miscellaneous and similar products in bulk. Bundling is a great way to make back-to-school shopping easy for customers, which is an attractive and marketable feature. 

For example, bundling a backpack with a lunch box, pencil case, calculator, and other related products into a one-click shopping option allows your shoppers to buy the items they’ll need in one simple step. Perhaps, you could even offer a discount or special offer when purchasing a bundle! 

And there you have it: five strategies to make your brand more marketable and drive up revenue this back-to-school season. Soak up these last few weeks of summer, and get ready for a productive and profitable school year!

Need some extra help putting together your back-to-school email campaigns and more? Contact our CAKE Commerce team to whip up your next strategy!