Getting Your Brands Ready for Back-to-School Shopping

The back-to-school shopping season is typically a popular one, raking in even more revenue than the holiday season. And according to retail experts, it’s getting longer.

In 2017, The Globe and Mail reported that with ecommerce and online shopping becoming more prevalent, the back-to-school season is stretching longer, starting as early as the end of June and peaking at the end of July. On the other end of the spectrum, some parents are waiting until after school’s in session to do their shopping, so the season is lengthening at both ends.

From a brand merchandising standpoint, this means what you likely already know — you need to be ready earlier and be prepared to keep your products stocked longer.

When you’re planning your back-to-school shopping brand strategy, consider these tips to make sure you’re on top.

  1. Keep Products Stocked – In-Store and Online

If a customer can’t find your product, they won’t buy your product. Make sure your brand is kept on shelves at your retailers and check in regularly to ensure it’s being managed well in store. If you can’t spare staff to do this for you, a service like Marketsupport Canada can help monitor it.

Product stocking doesn’t just apply to in-store these days. Make sure that your stock is kept up at e-commerce retailers or on your own site.

  1. Leverage Point of Sale and In-Store Displays

Unique brand marketing will help your products stand out in the busy time, and so will powerful displays. Use the point-of-sale display to feature can’t-miss products and keep signage fresh and interesting. Consider creating an immersive experience where possible.

  1. Target Consumer Pain Points

Statistics show that parents spend more during the back-to-school shopping season than during the holidays, and the amount keeps increasing. From 2016 to 2017, back-to-school spending nearly doubled across Canada. Competitive pricing, package deals, and product recommendations that allow parents to save shopping time and money.

  1. Plan In-Store Promotions and Events

Brand ambassadors, store sales, and product demonstrations all have a role to play in any shopping season, and especially back-to-school. Today’s students need more than clothing and pencils. They’re looking more to technology, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and the like. And college or university-bound students have different needs, too. They might be looking for convenience foods, easy-to-make snacks meal kits, and dorm room staples. An in-store event can be the perfect way to guide your customers towards products that can help them.

  1. Create a Seamless In-Store and Online Experience

Many shoppers aren’t just doing their back-to-school stocking in-store. They’re also shopping online. Or, they might be browsing online before heading to the bricks-and-mortar to shop. In any case, it’s important to have a strong connection between brand online and in-store. Check out blogs we’ve written on the topic about what customers are looking for in-store and online.

Back-to-school shopping can present many opportunities for your brand at retail, but it also presents a challenge: heavier competition. You need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Solid brand management strategies, like the ones listed above, need to be in place and you need to be able to adapt throughout the entire season.

You don’t have to go it alone. Marketsupport Canada can help with your brand management, in-store and online. Learn more about how we create a great customer experience by calling 1-877-421-5081 or visiting

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