4 Ways Every Business Can Boost Sales with Back to School Promotions

While your store may have experienced a summer slow down, back to school promotions represent a great way for businesses to bring customers back.

The average family spends about $674 in preparation of a new school year, according to the National Retail Federation.

In clothing stores alone, customers spent an estimated $8.2 billion before the 2015 school year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Book stores saw an estimated $1.6 billion in sales during the same timeframe.

But it’s not just boutiques and book stores that can profit from this busy time of year, every business – no matter what you sell – can capitalize on this buying season. With the right marketing advice, you can attract parents, grandparents, college students, teenagers and school workers to your store.

Here are four back to school promotion ideas:

The Bundle Promotion

Families aren’t just looking to clear a list of school supplies, they’re looking to get the best deals on all-things-school. While you can certainly discount prices, you might consider bundling several products together as an attractive deal.

StyleWorks, a hair salon, created a combo offer. They offered a free hair cut for a child with every adult cut or color. By bundling these two services together the customer gets a good deal, and the salon gets two sales rather than one.


A store could bundle several school supplies together and market them to teachers, or a tea shop could bundle a thermal mug and tea together and market it to educators as a “start the first day off right” promotion.

The Celebratory Parents Promotion

From camping trips to beach days, families spend a lot of quality time together during the summer. While parents enjoy these memory-making days, most are more than ready to send their kids back to school.

Businesses can have a little fun with this idea, and create a promotion that celebrates the start of a new school year.

A massage center could invite parents in for a relaxing massage with a promotion like, “The kids are back to school. Celebrate the peace and quiet with 30% off a hot stone massage.” When school is in session, a coffee shop could offer a free coffee to parents in honor of not hearing “I’m bored” anymore. A carpet cleaning company can offer a coupon to help parents reclaim their house after the kids have tracked in sand and dirt all season.

This kind of promotion centers on humor, so don’t be afraid to tap into your inner comedian.

The Trend Promotion

With each new school year, new trends emerge throughout the summer and into the fall.

Social media has become one of the primary platforms back to school shoppers turn to in search of the latest trends and styles. You can use it to spot trends and apply those trends to your products.

For example, the fashion runways were full of silver and gold clothes and accessories this year, so Staples uses this fad to promote some of its metallic products on social media.


Take a few minutes to look through Pinterest, teen fashion magazines and other social media channels to familiarize yourself with hot trends and create a promotion that’s connected to a product you sell.

The De-Stress Promotion

Back to school shopping can be stressful. Have you seen how long supply lists are these days? And what if you’re shopping for more than one child? Shoppers can get overwhelmed, so businesses should create promotions that alleviate some of this stress.

A restaurant, for example, could offer a special back to school lunch deal. The promotion could be something like, “Back to school shopping is stressful – lunch shouldn’t be. Kids eat free with the purchase of two adult entrees.”

You can also promote stress-free services like, shorter lines, free refreshments or activity centers to occupy young kids.

Think of ways that you can make the back to school shopping experience easier for consumers, and use it in your promotion.

Wrap up

You should plan and implement your back to school promotions now. Research indicates that two-thirds of shoppers are starting at least a month before school starts, so the sooner you roll out your promotions the better.

You’re not limited to one type of promotion either. Try several of the promotion ideas listed above and see which one works best for your business.

Be sure to advertise your promotion through multiple channels. Send your customers a text, promote deals on social media and hang signs in your store.

What back to school promotions have you run in the past? Share what works for your business in the comment section below.

Lisa Furgison
About the Author
Lisa Furgison

Lisa is a writer at Fivestars, a freelance journalist, and co-owner of a media company, McEwen's Media.

1 Comment

  • I would like to do a back to school special 8-22-16 through 8-27-16 15% off excluding consoles

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