How to Gear Your Back to School Sale to More Than Just Parents

When you think about back to school sales, you usually think about those nostalgic days of being a kid and getting all your awesome new notebooks and pencil cases ready for the year (and finishing that whole summer reading assignment in three days). But back to school sales can appeal to a much wider audience than those who are in school. Here are a few tips on how to gear your back to school sale to more than just parents (and students).

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Your Audience

As with any sale, figuring out what audience (or audiences) you want to appeal to is key. And there are a few different groups to appeal to during a back to school sale.

Try gearing your sale messaging towards:

Shoppers who aren’t parents or students

Think of it as a sale going on during back to school season that everyone can take advantage of, and include that in some of your messaging to appeal to groups that might not consider back to school sales as something that’s directed at them. Create tweets or FB posts with messaging along the lines of, “you don’t have to be a parent or student to take advantage of back to school savings!” Or maybe a funny email newsletter all about “Who can shop our back to school sale? Parents, college kids, cat parents, those of us who want to pretend we’re still school-aged at heart,” you get the picture!

And if you’re not sure how, here’s how to check out your customers’ emails in your Dashboard!

College kids

Going back to school isn’t just about notebooks, zip pouches, and accessories (the trapper keepers and overly complicated pencil cases of the ’90s were the best for that, anyways…) – it’s also prime time to promote home decor and bedding for anyone who’s college-bound. One of the best parts of starting college is getting to deck out your dorm; after all, it’s the first time many young adults get to completely decorate a brand new space. Make sure to appeal to them!

Parents shopping for their kids

While you shouldn’t limit yourself just to parents and/or students, parents shopping for their kid’s school year are still a key demographic. For parents with younger kids, this is a great time to push kids tees and notebooks, for instance. And for parents with older kids who are going off to college, pushing home decor and maybe even doing a “how to make a great going away package” featuring a tote stuffed with fun products Christmas stocking style would be great creative content or email content. 

Parents shopping for themselves

Parents gotta shop for fun stuff too! Use some messaging geared towards parents celebrating their newfound daily freedom from their kids going back to school with posts like, “The kids are back in school! TREAT YOURSELF, ‘RENTS!” It might give them a laugh, not to mention it focuses on them during a sale time that usually focuses on getting them to buy stuff for their kids. Don’t leave them out! 

How to sweeten the deal

So you’ve found your audiences – time to give them a reason to shop your stuff! We’ve talked about some pro tips on how to run an effective sale. But here are a few specific things you can do to make your customers a back to school offer they can’t refuse!

Free Shipping

Head’s up shop owners! From August 13th to August 26th, you can offer your customers free shipping! Free shipping is perfect for back to school sales, especially when people might be buying a bunch of different items all at once. Free shipping is a crucial way to save on big orders that could get super expensive. 

drop those prices

You can put select items on sale – like home items for a dorm sale, accessories for back to school items like notebooks and totes, $12 tees for that first day of school look, etc. – but a full-on sale with price reductions across the board makes sure you’re not narrowing your audience. Not to mention, our global pricing tool makes it easy to run a sale on everything without having to go through and tediously change the price of every item.

Offer your customers something too

In terms of creative content, offer customers something that’s fun to look and makes them want to buy your products! Try making a back to school look book, or a dorm style guide as a blog post or email newsletter where people can shop the look!

Artist Juleah Kaliski does a great job with her shop’s homepage collection photos!
Use collections

Featuring lifestyle photos in your homepage collection (aka just your homepage) is a solid thing to do before running a sale to make sure your shop looks amazing. But you can take advantage of collections in other creative ways as well! Create collections in your shop just for the back to school sale that appeal to different shoppers: collections of different dorm themes, different outfit pairings, etc.

Add new products

Add some new products and designs so that during your sale, your items are featured on Threadless’s Discover page! That will get your shop and products in front of a way bigger audience. Also, experiment with adding new products to your shop as well, including products that you can discount down even further for max customer savings.

Back to school themed photos

Consider taking photos – for both your social media as well as your homepage collection – that are specifically back to school themed and act as style guides or lookbook.

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Featured illustration by Katie Lukes. 

Feeling inspired? Compare Artist Shops and Printify vs Printful vs Print Aura yourself! Try Artist Shops for free and start your own creative journey!

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