Emerchants: how to prepare for the new school year?

Back to work!
Prepare for the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year with these best practices to gain exposure and brand awareness, and launch into this post-sun/beach/fun period in the best possible way.

The Ecommerce guide of the 5 points to consider, in preparation for the return to school

The back-to-school peak starts now and continues through the first weeks of September. The window of opportunity for commercial exploitation is therefore small. But, the tips presented here will not be in vain once this period is over. Of course, they allow you to prepare for the major end of year events (like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the other end of year holidays...). These seasonalities are important for a majority of online sales sites (DNVBs, marketplaces, Ecommerce, digital solutions publishers like SaaS, etc.). So, it's time for the first assessments, first observations, and first readjustments (aesthetic, operational and strategic).

The objectives and issues are manifold:

  • Acquire new customers;
  • Improve retention of current employees;
  • Evolve according to the season;
  • Lead and stimulate your community;
  • Streamline your inventory and de-stock it;
  • And of course, continue to be seen in your market to improve your brand awareness.

1- Customer reviews to acquire new customers and improve retention

Reviews count for a lot in the decision of future consumers. Because a peer review is valuable, put enough emphasis on these pages. They offer a sincere and complete feedback; after all, who better than your customers to talk about your products?

Use them as UGC (User Generated Content). These are arguments to promote the development of your business. Silvr was already talking about this with Maxime Brassaert (CEO and co-founder of Basile) who capitalize on some of the communication campaigns around the content created by its community. In addition, this data is useful for insuring the coherent development of your business and keeping a PMF (Product Market Fit) that is as accurate as possible. What's more, not only does this improve the experience you offer to your customers, but also the loyalty of your existing customers. Therefore, analyze precisely the reviews left on the different platforms on which this is allowed: Trustpilot, Google My Business, Trusted Shops, Avis Vérifiés, etc.

Verified Reviews by Skeeper, Trustpilot, Google My Business, Trusted Shop logos: publish your customers' reviews to emulate other users.
Verified Reviews by Skeeper, Trustpilot, Google My Business, Trusted Shop logos: publish your customers' reviews to emulate other users.

2- Make a new skin for this new period

Refresh the homepage

New season = new entrance for your Ecommerce site. For marketing teams, it's time to refresh and renew the content of the site. Take advantage of the end of the summer to change the visual spaces of your Ecommerce site. In your banners and other on-sitespaces (etc.), make reference to this seasonal period with some coherent wording: "Back to work", "We prepare the schoolbag", "Summer is over, back home"... And if your catalog is sufficiently focused on going back to school and the end of summer, obviously think of promoting it in a clearly defined and displayed section on your merchant site, e.g. in the site tree. Moreover, there is the unbeatable trick to make life easier and keep the best traffic: opt for a timeless URL like "/site/back-to-school/" rather than "/site/backtoschool/2022/hereyougo/".

Product pages to be properly created and referenced

What are the advantages of developing complete and clear product pages? Differentiating elements, differentiating points: highlight the best of your products. Specifically for items relevant to this time of year - emphasize contextualized benefits. Pens for school, soft drinks to recover from a surely busy summer, clothes, shoes or jewelry more in the style of the upcoming fall, etc.

All this must be done while placing SEO principles at the center of the development of these product pages. Indeed, you must not forget the metadata. Fill them in constantly so that the crawlers (search engine robots that look at and analyze your site) base their analysis on what the users don't necessarily see. Because product pages - even the best designed ones - will not get any impressions if they are not promoted on search engines or other distribution channels.

We complete these product pages with pictures and enhance them. This is essential for the good referencing of your pages. They are there so that user can project themselves. So, offer views of your products from all angles! However, be careful with the file size of your photos! If their resolution is unnecessarily high, they will be too big. This could compromise the display speed of your pages. The risk? Exposing yourself to the fact that 8 out of 10 internet users do not come back to your site if they deem the loading performance to be poor. E-Commerce Nation's reminder on page loading: for every second more your pages load, the conversion drop increases by 7%.

Merci Handy 's product page: contextualized photos, complete texts and customer reviews
Merci Handy 's product page: contextualized photos, complete texts and customer reviews

Your product pages also deserve a new identity. New tones, new layouts - A/B test here you come?A/B testing is a very useful method to judge the effectiveness on conversion or the action of a parameter of your site. It can concern the color, shape, font or wording of a CTA. For an A/B testing campaign to be effective, change only one element to really isolate its effectiveness. Another way to improve conversions and cross-sell with A/B testing is to use the product lists at the bottom of the product page. Change the recommendations to see which ones are more likely to promote cross-selling. Finally, just like the analysis of your Ads campaigns, hindsight is necessary. The results will not be convincing overnight.

3- Promote your content to stimulate your community

Facebook Ads: several objectives according to your needs

A quick look at the objectives that Facebook Ads will allow you to reach at the end of the summer. Meta reminds us of the 3 main events with the 6 simplified objectives and the business methods to apply.

  • The brand awareness to create interest for your products or services. This objective requires optimal coverage of the advertising spaces. So, this exposure is generic and widespread with regard to your target audience.
  • Consideration for users to become interested and familiar with your company through less generic, more relevant information. There are many ways to do this. There is the creation of traffic to specific information (site, blog, videos...). Interaction stimulates your growing community. And the promotion and installations of your application, to push notifications and stay visible.
  • And finally, the conversion: once interested, the Emerchant will try to convert the user into a customer. How do they do this? By creating interactive elements such as CTAs for downloading, adding to the cart, registering, or getting in touch. It is also the explicit presentation of your products so that a person already "considered" can make a purchase.

Google Shopping: the encyclopedia of product information

Update your data and bring up crucial information, admittedly more technical, but which will inevitably allow you to go back up during searches! So, don't forget to include the EAN(European Article Numbering) and UPC  (Universal Product Code) codes. If a customer is looking for a specific product and you include them, they will find it directly on your affiliate pages.

Mobile first!

The mobile is continuing to gain ground in Ecommerce sales passing for the first time the 50% mark of online buyers. Fevad, in its 2022 report on Ecommerce, reports this data. So, remember this statement in theSilvr's 5 practices selling guide for 2022: we think for the thumb (of the user) and we adapt the contents so that they are responsive on desktop, tablet and mobile!

Think responsiveness! The majority of e-shopping is now done on cell phones
Think responsiveness! The majority of e-shopping is now done on cell phones

4- Streamline inventory with back-to-school promotions

Think about strategic promotions

If you want to clear out your inventory before school starts, push a new product or promote an offer: push packs, or bundles. Some CMS like Shopify offer add-ons to easily create consistent bundles for your customers. Then, you will promote cross-selling.

Have you already launched daily offers? This creates interest, FOMO (fear of missing out) - or the feeling of opportunity not to be missed!

Create FOMO with strategic promotions
Create FOMO with strategic promotions.

Purchase conditions optimize conversion

Free shipping or at least under 10% of the purchase price (at the risk of losing the lead), free returns (etc.) are all methods for maximizing conversion on your Ecommerce platforms. This also applies to the payment conditions. We have already mentioned the importance of payment methods to accelerate growth. By offering a split or deferred payment solution, you increase your chances of conversion.

5- The Ecommerce chestnut is well filled: remember to anticipate it too

Why stop there and limit yourself to the beginning of the school year in September? Think further ahead and start preparing for the end of the year! Between the communication plans, pricing strategies, logistics, development of new features (e.g. more payment methods): the program is already full! So don't waste a second.

Be already looking forward to the big events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the Christmas holidays that await you. Enjoy the start of the new school year with Silvr!

And as always, Silvr is with you all year long with financing solutions tailored to your needs to unlock your growth.

- Published
January 23, 2023
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