Sure, it’s April, and school will be letting out for the summer soon. But, it’s never too early to start thinking about your Back to School selling strategy! Like the Holiday retail moment, Back to School starts earlier and earlier each year. And, just like Holiday, Back to School represents a huge selling opportunity – $75 billion in 2016. We also see specific buying behaviors around Back to School (BTS) in two distinct phases, similar to the phases we identified for Holiday shopping. Here are the details:
This year, eBay is investing heavily in marketing and promotions to bring BTS shoppers to the site. We’re also aligning the timing of our marketing efforts to maximize sales velocity in each phase. So how can you take advantage of all this goodness?
Time your listings to leverage the two phases of BTS. In Phase 1, Moms and BTC students are looking for:
In Phase 2, the in-demand items for K-12 students will be:
Get your BTS/BTC items listed using eBay best practices. Make it easy to find your items with keywords and product identifiers. You can spend hours sourcing the right inventory and taking awesome product shots, but if you don’t include the right words and product identifiers (where available) in your descriptions, shoppers will have a hard time finding your BTS merchandise.
Next, think through your promotions strategy. eBay store subscribers have all the tools they need to create marketing messages and compelling offers specifically for BTS. Some ideas:
Consider bundling items. If you carry items that naturally make good bundles (think twin XL bed sheets and a coordinating comforter or an iPad and case), try creating one as a single listing to boost your average order value. Or, if you are an eBay Stores subscriber, you can use the Manage Promotions feature to create an Accessory Discount offer. For instance, you could offer 20% off a lunchbox when a buyer purchases a backpack for their K-12 kiddo, or 10% off pillowcases when they purchase sheets for their college-bound teen.
Use social media to advertise your BTS promotions. If you create offers specific to the #BacktoSchool season, be sure to amplify them via social media (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.). If you don’t have a Store, you can promote specific BTS items instead. Be sure to only feature your best pieces and post sparingly. Tweeting everything you list is one of the fastest ways to lose followers and potential customers.
In the meantime, we’ll be working on a national, multi-channel BTS marketing campaign designed to drive traffic for this monumental opportunity.
And you thought your summer was going to be slow…
Have some BTS tips to share? What product mix or promotions strategy has worked for you in past BTS seasons? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to share this article with your eBay peers via email and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
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