Is there any date more stressful in a parent’s shopping calendar than the back-to-school rush? Books, stationery, backpacks, clothing, tech devices… the list can be overwhelming. Any retailer that can take the hassle out of this shopping experience is a retailer that will win parents’ business. With the right search and merchandising tactics, back-to-school ecommerce prep can generate a significant boost in conversions for your online store.
That’s before you even consider how 2021 back-to-school trends will differ from previous years. After a year of homeschooling, many students will have an even longer shopping list than usual as they return to the classroom. And, as consumers have grown increasingly accustomed to ecommerce over the past year, many parents who previously trudged around the mall with kids in tow will be more than happy to spend their back-to-school dollars online this year.
Ready to optimize your store for this influx of shoppers?
1. Curate a back-to-school ecommerce category page
If you carry school or college-related products across multiple categories on your site, consider bringing them together on a single page for the peak back-to-school shopping period. Instead of searching and browsing multiple pages, shoppers will be able to find everything they need in one place, and potentially discover back-to-school products they didn’t even know you carried. As a bonus, you’ll also have the perfect landing page to link to from any marketing campaigns you’re running.
2. Add back-to-school banners and badges to your store
Speaking of marketing campaigns, ensure consistency across all touchpoints by adding merchandising banners to your homepage and landing page. Prominently feature shipping timelines and any sale or discount pricing – back-to-school shopping can be expensive, so highlighting value is crucial. Adding badges to school-ready products is another good idea. Label products with attributes like “easy to wash” or “durable material” to eliminate any concerns that might prove to be a barrier to purchase.
3. Optimize your site search for back-to-school ecommerce shoppers
Your data from 2020 is probably skewed, but take a look at your reporting from 2019 for search insights on any school-related terms that come up at this time of year. Depending on your product line, it could be worth setting up synonyms or redirects for non-product search queries like “college,” “dorm,” “school,” and so on. If you have a dedicated category page as per tip #1, send this traffic there. If not, set up a synonym for these searches to generate relevant results, and consider implementing a rule to sort results from low-high price. Let’s say you sell desks and chairs, for example. Anyone searching for “college” is probably looking for your more budget-friendly options. Make them as easy as possible to find.