Consumers are expected to spend $83.6 billion this year on items that will prepare them for a new school year. That’s enough money to call the back-to-school season a summer Christmas event.
How are you taking advantage of this massive consumer buying surge? Even if you do not sell back-to-school supplies, you can still get in on the action. Here are some dos and don’ts for small businesses that want to reap some of the back-to-school spoils.
DO Start Early
Back-to-school shopping begins around one month before school starts. And, in some states, schools begin their new year as early as mid-August. Plan your promotions now to get ahead of the rush, and take advantage of this high time of consumer spending.
DON’T Send Out One Promotion
Not all of your customers are created equal, and not all of them buy the same products. For example, your teen parent customer may be more interested in scientific calculators and cell phone cases while parents of a 7-year-old may be purchasing markers and crayons. To boost your promotions and sell more, be as relevant as possible.
When blasting your back-to-school promotions, tailor your message to each customer segment. Speak directly to your target consumer, and you will gain more sales and brand awareness.
DON’T Sit On the Sidelines
If any of your customers are parents, you can still leverage this busy shopping season and get some additional revenue for your small business — even if you do not sell back-to-school supplies. Here are some ideas:
- Personal care – Teens want to look their best before going back to school. Cosmetics and personal care stores, spas, and salons will get some extra sales by promoting back-to-school specials for teens and their parents. Spa coupon for the tired parent who worked hard to keep the kids busy all summer?
- Don’t’ forget about teachers and professors – They also go back to school and will be in need of supplies and items to make their lives easier. Portable containers, computer and classroom supplies, new clothes, caffeinated beverages, and quick food ideas are all items a teacher may buy before the school year commences.
- No parents? No problem! – If parents aren't your target consumer, you can still offer a back-to-school promotion. Labor Day has nothing to do with cars but nearly every dealership will offer a Labor Day sale on new purchases or leases.
DO Bundle Offers
Bundle offers are popular among buyers because consumers like to get more items for less than retail price. Running these types of deals can help you get some attention from new and existing customers.
If you run a hair salon, consider creating mother and child bundle offers to entice parents to bring their children in with them for back-to-school haircuts. Sell school supplies? Bundle a pen set in with a folder as these items typically go together. Even if you do not sell school related items, try bundling related items for back-to-school promotions to make the deals more enticing.
DON’T Spend a Lot of Money Promoting
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to run a successful back-to-school promotion. A low-cost and effective way to reach more customers is to use voice broadcasting. With voice broadcasting, you can send messages to all of the customers in your phone book in seconds, for only pennies a call. Voice broadcasting is an easy and affordable way to get maximum exposure for your promotions and your growing brand. If you would like to learn more about how you can use voice broadcasting to supercharge your company promotions, sign up for a free account here.