Back-to-school sales this year are predicted to beat last year by +4.0% or $74.03 billion, according to eMarketer.
Predictably, many shoppers will be turning on their laptops–not their cars–to make those classroom and dorm room purchases:
Ecommerce sales are predicted to jump by +14.8% to $74.03 billion.
The National Retail Federation’s survey data below backs this up–45.5% of consumers reported they plan to shop for school supplies online this year.
And where do you think they’ll head online to buy these supplies?
Take a wild guess.
How Amazon’s Changing the Way We Shop for School Supplies
Amazon is not just changing the way we shop for back-to-school supplies, it’s also shifting the time frame during which we shop.
Historically, the “back-to-school” shopping season runs from mid-July through early September, but now, according to Cardlytics, a service that anonymously tracks online spending data, “Online-only shopping for back-to-school peaks the week of Prime Day.”
Yes, Back-to-School sales are already well underway–but it doesn’t mean sellers can’t profit from a better strategy for the duration of the season. Get your last-minute back-to-school Amazon strategy right here.
Your Guide to Selling More on Amazon During Back-to-School
Know Which Products Sell During the Back-to-School Rush
The first thing you should know is that not every product is made for back-to-school success.
There are a few obvious ones that will be winners:
- Posters for college students
- Office supplies (pens, paper, etc.)
But there are two other categories that get a boost on Amazon: household cleaning supplies and health/personal care products.
Many parents are tasked with purchasing lists of cleaning supplies for their child’s classroom “wish list”, while college students gear up for the school year with some dorm room cleaning supplies and beauty/health products.
The bottom line is if you sell household cleaning products or beauty products, you should probably push marketing dollars towards the season.
“We see the biggest lift on health and beauty products (HPC) and other replenishable CPGs during the back-to-school shopping season,” says Ryan Burgess, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy.
Just take a look at Lysol’s big-budget ad placement on Amazon’s “Back-to-School-Essentials” page below:
If you don’t have a budget like Lysol, you’re going to need to compete with something other than ad spend.
Here are a few ways to make your ads more successful.
Adjust Your Messaging
Don’t just fall back on your usual ad copy–Back-to-School is a huge opportunity to get inside your customer’s heads and help them see why they need your products to survive the school season.
“Create new ads with specific headlines that show why you’re relevant during the Back-to-School season–don’t just rely on your current messaging.” – Ryan Burgess, Marketplace Channel Analyst
Families and students are sure to be short on time (and money) and high on stress.
Adjust your copy to emphasize the following benefits:
- Save money and time (and lower stress) by shopping online
- Knock out school wish lists
- Stay healthy during the start of the school year
Here are two examples of ad and landing page copy referencing Back-to-School:
Take Advantage of AMS Brand Stores
However, there’s a new alternative to a custom AMG landing page that’s free and virtually just as effective:
AMS brand stores and headline campaigns.
“AMS brand stores and accompanying headline campaigns are the best way for smaller sellers to compete with big brands,” says Burgess. “It’s free, pretty easy build, and I’d recommend you rush to get it approved before the Back-to-School season is over.”
Learn more about Amazon stores: Everything Vendors Need to Know About Amazon Stores
Ramp Up Your AMS Budget on Top Performing Keywords
You know we couldn’t end this post without talking about your ad budget.
We’ve received multiple emails from our Amazon reps that recommend we raise our campaign budgets ~2.5-3 times to boost sales in the Back-to-School shopping months.
Incidentally, that’s the same amount they recommended we raise our budgets during Prime Day–which should give you a rough idea of how well your products could do during this season.
Emphasize Subscribe-and-Save to Keep the Profits Rolling in
Push Subscribe-and-Save as a way for shoppers to save time and money during this season, and you’ll be rewarded all year long.
Subscribe and save is a huge asset for you as a retailer–and probably one of the most underestimated advantages of selling on Amazon. There are two ways to push this:
- Ensure your subscriber-friendly products emphasize subscribe-and-save in the copy
- Make sure all other products are enrolled in the program
Learn more about the program here: What is the Amazon Subscribe and Save Program
If you do it right, you’ll not only be seeing bigger profits during the Back-to-School season, but you’ll also be giving your customers peace of mind during a chaotic time of year. If that doesn’t make you feel good about what you do, we don’t know what will.