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5 Back-to-School Shopping Deals To Promote Right Now

Back-to-school season is back again — and it’s one of the busiest for retailers. 

Grade school students have supply lists to check off, college students are preparing for dorm living, and teachers are ready to restock their classrooms — and you need to be prepared for all of them.

And as with any big shopping season, retailers large and small will be rolling out all sorts of sales and promotions.

So, how do you keep up with the competition? Try our top tips for attracting customers with these best-in-class back-to-school shopping deals.


BOGO: A solid standby. Buy-one-get-one promotions are a fantastic way to give your customers a discount, and to move a lot of inventory. These offers typically give your buyers a free product, or a percentage off of a similar product, when they make an initial purchase. 

Think: “Buy one pack of pencils, get the second one free” or “Purchase any backpack, get the second one 50 percent off”. Back-to-school shoppers often need to stock up on these items for the entire year, whether they need folders for different subjects or run through pen ink quickly — they save cash upfront, and you keep your product moving.

Backpack Bundle

Back-to-school shoppers are in the market for many types of items: pencils, pens, folders, calculators, laptops — you name it, they need it. Take advantage of this need and offer “bundle” promotions. With these types of deals, customers cover their bases (maybe you thought of something they didn’t, like a pencil pouch), and you can move less popular items. 

Try a “backpack bundle” — allow buyers to choose a backpack (it could be a slow-selling brand) to fill with three different products from an approved list for 10 percent off of the total. They knock out a chunk of their checklist in one shopping trip, and the ability to implement mix and match pricing makes everything a breeze on your end.

Day-Of-The-Week Discount

Want to keep customers coming back, day after day? Get them in the door (online or in store) more frequently. Try a “day-of-the-week” discount, where a different item is discounted each day — computer bags on Monday, calculators on Tuesday, notebooks on Wednesday, and so on. 

Many buyers wait for a specific product to go on sale, particularly more expensive ones. But when they do make a transaction, they’re likely to tack on more products. It’s much easier to do most of your shopping in one place, especially in such a rushed and hectic time as back-to-school season. And if they’re happy with their purchase and customer experience, you’ll build a loyal customer base that you can reward throughout the year, too.

Social Media Giveaway

Building an online presence is perfect for brand and store recognition — and it’s a great way to get your product in front of the right eyes. About 75 percent of teenagers are active on social media, and nearly the same percentage of internet-using parents are, too — meaning a strategic use of social profiles is key to reaching your target audience for a campaign of back-to-school shopping deals. 

You can use these channels to promote any specific product or running special, but hosting a giveaway is a great way to amp up engagement. Ask followers to tag a friend (or friends) in the comments for the chance to win a new laptop, a year’s supply of pencils, or something as simple as a gift card. 

Not everyone will win, of course, but you’ll draw more potential customers to your social channels and website — then, all they have to do is click “add to cart”.

Free Gift with Purchase

Everyone’s favorite number is free — especially customers prepping for the school year. Businesses often run promotions that offer a free gift with any purchase over a set amount. The promise of a free product, even if it is a small-ticket item, is a great strategy to get buyers to hit a certain threshold. 

They might not otherwise spend $100 in your shop — but throw in a free wireless mouse with the purchase of a laptop? They might change their mind. Or include an extra pack of pens with any total purchase over $30? They could decide to do more of their shopping in your store. With a free gift, you reward your customer, and encourage them to spend more.

Why Your Business Needs To Take Advantage of Back-to-School Shopping Deals

Retailers understand the value of timing — and certain times of the year are booming for business. But this isn’t only an exciting (and lucrative) time for businesses, it’s an exciting time for the customers — the students, the parents, the teachers. Run promotions and give them the discounts they need when buying large quantities of items, but do so in a way that works for your business, too — and you’ll notice those customers will return next year, if not before.

Looking for more ways to boost your small business this back-to-school season? Check out our Retailers’ Guide for Back-to-School Shopping for more services and promotions you can offer your customers, and the inventory checklists you need to get class back in session.


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