Improving Online Sales During the Back-to-School Shopping Season

Improving Online Sales During the Back-to-School Shopping Season

How to Push School Supplies

Online shoppers are getting ready to buy supplies for the upcoming school year. Online sales of school supplies generated more than $58.1 billion in 2018, making this one of the most popular shopping periods of the year. It would be wise to have a good strategy in place if you plan to sell during this period. Prepare for back-to-school shoppers by learning about some effective eCommerce strategies. 

Create a Dedicated Back-to-School Page 

School Supplies

The first action you should take is to create a seasonal landing page for the products you want to sell. You can use this page to promote the items students need at the start of the school year, such as binders, pens, and pencils. Organize products by type and grade level so shoppers can find exactly what they need without any issues. 

From there, promote this landing page in your social media advertisements and emails. Keep this page up during the back-to-school period. Once the period ends you should redesign the page into a traditional school supplies page. If the back-to-school page performed well, a redirect will allow the strong results to carry over to the new landing page. 

Use Email Marketing 

Checking Email

An email marketing campaign can help you re-engage with back-to-school shoppers who visited your website years ago. With emails, you can directly promote sales and products you are offering during your back-to-school sale. Keep emails short and simple, and offer discount codes to parents who are looking to save money. 

Once you have a strategy in place, review your email list and see who you can send these promotions to. To get new customers for your email list, include an opt-in form on your back-to-school landing page. You can also ask for addresses during checkout, and you can build an opt-in form on the footer of your website too. 

You can also use emails to re-target customers who abandoned their shopping carts. Sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder to get someone to come back to your store.  

Advertise Products to Appeal to Kids & Adults 

Kids in School

Promoting your products on social media is essential if you want to get back-to-school shoppers to visit your website.  

One of the smartest decisions you can make is designing advertisements that appeal to children. While children do not make any purchases, they can influence their parents’ shopping decisions. If you sell clothes for back-to-school, create posts with students wearing them to entice kids who are browsing social media.  

Of course, you should also be tailoring posts for parents. Parents will be looking for supplies that will help their kids, so display images of kids using your products. This will show parents that their kids will enjoy using your school supplies. Be sure to put down a link to your back-to-school page so they can see more of your products. 

Host a Back-to-School Contest 

You can also generate interest during the back-to-school shopping season by hosting giveaways. People like winning free stuff, and back-to-school shoppers will not turn down the opportunity to win free school supplies. Create an enticing prize package with a good variety of items, such as a backpack, binders, pens, and art supplies. 

Get creative with advertisements for your giveaway, and give them a fun vibe to entice people to sign up. On the giveaway form, ask for email addresses so participants can sign up for your email list. 

Promote your giveaway on all your social media platforms, and focus most of your efforts on your most popular channel. Also, try partnering with major social media influencers to extend the reach of your contest. 

Focus on Teachers Too 

Teacher

You need to focus most of your marketing efforts on students and parents, but you should not forget about teachers. Teachers need supplies for the classroom, and they usually need to shop in bulk to accommodate for a large number of students. When developing your back-to-school marketing strategies, try appealing to teachers and staff members. 

Dedicate part of your back-to-school landing page to teaching supplies so teachers can find just what they need. Since teachers have to spend a lot on teaching supplies, it might be smart to offer a few discount codes on this page. Build a form so teachers can give you their email addresses, and send them promotional codes from there.  

Teachers get to save money while they shop, and you get new additions for your email list. 

Logicblock’s 7cart system gives you all the tools you need to sell during the back-to-school season. Want to learn more? 

Read more
Read more

Performing eCommerce Site Audits: How to Optimize Your Website

Conducting an eCommerce Audit

Anyone who operates an online store should be always be looking for ways to make optimizations. Any website that is not well optimized will not rank well on search engines, and will not perform as well as it can.  

If your website is not doing well, it might be a good idea to do a website audit to see if you can make a few improvements. By doing an audit, you can identify key flaws that are holding your website back. Review the following parts of your website’s design, and see how you can make improvements that will get your business more traffic and conversions. 

Website Performance 

Searching Online

One of the first things you should test is your website’s performance. Online shoppers are not patient, and if it takes more than a few seconds for your website to load they will take their business elsewhere. Server issues can be to blame, but poor web design choices can also be the cause of slow loading times. 

Check the size of the photos on your website. Larger images are nicer to look at, but they also take longer to load in. This is especially apparent on mobile devices, so shrink some of the images down so they load in faster.  

Make sure you are using a simple font type for your website, since fancier fonts take longer to load as well. Take some time to sit down with your web designers to figure out other ways you can reduce load times. 

URLs & Redirects 

You should also take the time to audit your website’s links and URLs. If a link’s corresponding page is down, it will direct users to a 404 error page instead. This can make your website look broken and unprofessional, which will hinder its search engine ranking. 

Pull up a list of all your website’s URLs and test each one to make sure each one works as intended. If a page is not working, you will need to redirect it to a different page with relevant content. You should also take some time to go through your content pages to make sure all internal links are spelled correctly. 

Product Organization 

Flowchart

Product organization is another thing you should be reviewing. Visitors to your website want to find the exact products they are looking for in a short amount of time. You risk scaring people off if they have to sort through too many options. See how your products are organized on your website, and test how easy it is for you to find a particular product. 

It should be easy for a customer to guess what items are in a product category just by looking at its title. Take the time to make sure all products are listed under the proper categories. Keep an eye out for duplicate products too, as they can clutter up your product category pages.  

Having a clean, efficient layout for your products can make your website a lot more attractive. 

Retired or Out-of-Stock Items 

During your audit, you should develop a system for dealing with retired or seasonal products you are no longer selling. Leaving products up when you are not selling them can impact your website’s search engine rank. Also, these pages serve as unnecessary clutter.  

A smart move would be to perform 301 redirects for these pages so users can be redirected to more up-to-date content. To preserve the SEO performance of the original pages, make sure the redirects go to new pages with relevant content. Sending your users to irrelevant content can make your website look disorganized, and hinders SEO performance. 

If you plan to restock these items in the future, put notices on the respective pages so users know to check back later. 

Conversion Audits 

Woman Shopping Online

You should spend the final part of your site audit refining the areas where you convert visitors into paying customers. Increasing your website’s visibility means nothing if visitors are not buying anything. 

First, check the bounce rate of your website’s homepage, and see if people are leaving shortly after they arrive. You can make your homepage more attractive by including testimonials and reviews at the top of the page. Also, try to de-clutter your homepage so visitors are not overloaded with information as soon as they arrive. 

If you are forcing users to register an account before buying something on your website, you should remove this rule to simplify the checkout. Speaking of, review your site’s checkout process and see if you can simplify it in other key areas. A complicated checkout system can cause you to lose customers at the last possible moment. 

Logicblock’s 7cart system can help you design a more organized layout for your online store. Interested in learning more? 

Read more
Read more

Seasons Change: Tips & Tricks for Capitalizing on Seasonal Products

Selling Your Seasonal Wares

Certain items you sell are more desirable during specific seasons, and this is something you need to stay on top of if you want to maximize profits. For example, school supplies sell the best in late summer and early fall, while snow gear sells the best during winter. By making the right moves, you can capitalize on this and make a big profit. With these tricks, you can do just that, while also learning what to do when products are out of season.

Know How to Price Seasonal Items

Stack of Coins

To make the most money during a particular season, you need to know how to price the seasonal products you want to push. These items will be in high demand, so the trick is to set a price that is desirable to consumers, but also high enough so you make a profit. Checking on the competition is a good place to start; browse your competitors’ sites to see what prices they are selling their seasonal items at.

In regards to seasonal pricing, you have to get used to the idea of changing prices to take advantage of popular shopping periods. While products are in high demand, raise the prices a little bit so you can make more money as people come in. Keep your competitors’ offerings in mind so you can offer a more enticing price tag.

As the season comes to an end, lower the prices of seasonal products so you can still sell them just before the season concludes.

Know Which Seasons to Focus On

Summer Sunglasses

Here is an important thing to keep in mind about seasonal products: you will not always have products to sell for each season of the year. Depending on the products you have in stock, you might only be able to sell seasonally during only one or two seasons, and this is perfectly fine.

The best thing you can do is focus on the seasons that are suitable for the products you want to sell. If your seasonal items consist of swimwear and snow gear, you should focus on selling for summer and winter. This way, you have more time to develop stronger strategies for these seasons. During the spring and fall, focus on your evergreen products so you can continue making money.

Seasonal products are not just limited to the four seasons; they also refer to products you can sell during holidays, like Christmas. The same applies here: try to focus on selling seasonal products during the holidays you have suitable products for.

Create Seasonal Content

Winter Forest

A fun way to get people interested in buying seasonal items is to theme your content and advertisements around the current season. Build images of the beach into your summer ads, and during the winter try writing blog posts on popular winter activities. Sharing seasonal content with your customer base is a good way to promote items that you want to sell.

When you are developing your content, bring up seasonal problems that people can solve with the products you sell. For example, you can write a blog post on shoveling snow, and you can promote snow shovels you sell at the end. Get creative, and be sure to work specific holidays into your content when it the timing seems appropriate.

Be sure to plan your seasonal content well in advance, because if you wait too long it will be too late to use it properly.

What to Do in the Offseason

Business Planning

One of the issues with focusing on seasonal products is that demand for them decreases once the season they are designed for ends. Obviously, school supplies will not be in high demand once the school year ends. At this point you have to pull your focus away from these items, but there are some things you can do to keep some momentum going.

If you want to clear out your seasonal items to make room for new products, a clearance sale can help you. Do you ship to a global market? Seasons are different across the world, so you might be able to sell seasonal items overseas. These strategies will give you more room in your inventory, and you get to make some money in the process.

During the offseason, use your time to review how well you performed during the past season. Use this information to get ahead of the game and decide on the products you want to push when that shopping season rolls around again.

Want to know how you can keep customers engaged during the summer shopping season?

Read more
Read more