August means the end of summer and the start of back to school blues.
But in ecommerce back to school begins much earlier. Like other ecommerce events, shopping begins way before kids go back to school or students head off to college.
From a spending perspective Back to School is increasing in importance too. NRF data suggests US spending topped $80 billion last year and families with children in elementary schools spend more than $600 each. In the UK parents splashed out £915 million on Back-To-School spending, making it the largest shopping holiday outside of the holiday season.
All of that makes it an ideal opportunity for publishers to create compelling commerce content. So we’ve put together our top ideas to take advantage of the ecommerce event, help publishers inspire readers’ purchases and get rewarded for sales their content drives.
Seventeen – Capture the college kid market
Back To College is a huge market. College kids need to buy bigger ticket items, spend more and spend across bigger categories than kids still at school. College kids also have parents who are anxious that their kids have everything they need for the big new experience of their lives. Which is where commerce content comes in. This post from Seventeen focuses on essentials, but uses the post to include a huge range of categories: homewares, technology and more. From practical items like storage boxes, to funner pieces like fli-flops, it covers a lot of ground and thus has broad appeal across different college kids.
BuzzFeed – Adjectives come out on top
When publishers identify personas (“lazy college students”) and use adjectives to appeal to them the resulting commerce content can be dynamite. In Buzzfeed’s case, the appeal is to “lazy” students, and thinks outside of the typical academic or practical needs a college student might have. While you may lose the catch-all advantage of a generalist piece, persona focused content should improve the chance of conversion by offering a better personalized experience to readers.
Daily Mirror – Pick a product and perfect your commerce content
Sometimes expertise speaks volumes. And in the case of Daily Mirror they’ve used their position as a reliable source for tech reviews to create a back-to-school piece focused on the best laptops in the market. They give readers a variety of products to choose from, at a variety of price points, catering for different needs and budgets. It is authoritative, easy-to-read and helps the reader take actions once they’ve decided to make a purchase.
They’ve also focused on school and university students to ensure broad appeal to the whole Back To School Market.
Today.com – Parenting power
Back To School may be all about products for children but children are rarely the ones buying products themselves. Instead parents are who you need to appeal to. This post from Today.com embraces that notion, tailoring its message to a parental audience and their aspirations: Investing in items that are educational and ease the transition to the return to school.
Fast Web – People can afford to not be practical all the time too
People need books. People need bags. And people need a plethora of items to take to college or school that are decidedly practical in nature. But sometimes they want to buy fun frivolous things just for the sake of it. Which is where this post from Fast Web comes in. It balances out standard items with fun options like funky shower curtains or a mini coffee maker. This can be a good way to diversify the kinds of merchants you mention in back-to-school content and appeal to an audience that might be more than just academic in nature.
We hope you’ve found these examples helpful in inspiring your back-to-school themed content. If you want to find merchants to work with you can head to our public merchants pages.