Back-To-School Tips for E-commerce Sellers

August 10th, 2021 Comments off

After the 2020 pandemic forced many students to learn remotely at home, schools are finally reopening for in-person learning. Parents want a fresh start for their kids this fall and will set them up for success by making sure their K through 12 and college students have all the right tools and essentials. With the National Retail Federation expecting around $82.8 billion in back-to-school sales for 2021, sellers need to prepare for a season that will likely exceed pre-pandemic spending.

E-commerce sales for Back-to-School are expected to be 53% higher than 2019, according to a forecast by Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Let’s Look at the Stats
With parents feeling like their kids missed out last year and children excited to reunite with classmates, this year’s back-to-school and college seasons are expected to be the biggest ever. Many retail experts are projecting a sales growth of 6.7% from 2019 and 5.5% from 2020, with online shopping expected to be 53% higher than it was in 2019. Additionally, gone will be the days of wearing pajamas to the virtual classroom. Apparel sales will likely rise a sizable 78% with footwear up 21% from 2020.

Here are three tips for E-Commerce Sellers to Increase Back-to-School Revenue:

Tip #1 – Create a Back-to-School Landing Page:
Customers are looking for an easy way to shop for school supplies. A custom back-to-school landing page with items organized into convenient categories helps them find everything they need. You can categorize items using a variety of demographics such as gender, age, price or best sellers. Get people to return to your landing page by utilizing Google Ads, email lists and social media.

Tip #2 – Demonstrate How Your Products Fit Into People’s School Lives:
Get creative with your displays! You can boost your sales by taking the extra step beyond just showing your merchandise on a shelf or as a standalone item. If you’re selling pens, pencils and paper, arrange them on a school desk. If you’re selling bathroom decor, bedding or other furniture, create a dorm-like setting to stage your wares. Photograph your items in a classroom setting and use them in your marketing collateral.

Tip #3 – Market the Correct Products to the Right People:
When stocking items, think beyond the obvious back-to-school shoppers. There are a variety of people to keep in mind when it comes to going back to the classroom. Parents of younger students are looking for snacks, travel eating utensils, computer and audio equipment, stickers, paper, pens, uniforms and a variety of educational materials. College-aged students will shop for phone cases, bathroom supplies and sportswear while also looking to outfit their dorm rooms with desks, bedding and decor. Don’t forget about teachers! Cleaning products and general school supplies are always a necessity.

Final Back-to-School Thoughts
Besides the Christmas and holiday seasons, back-to-school season is one of the busiest and most profitable times of the year for online retailers. With in-person learning fast approaching, now is the time for retailers to prepare so they can ace this year’s back-to-school rush.

5 Tips for Shipping Books

August 4th, 2016 Comments off

277753_New-creative-request-blog-images-Stamps-1If you sell new or used books, you’re likely seeing an upswing in sales as the start of school approaches, with back-to-school retail expected to rise 2.6 percent compared to 2015 and ecommerce alone jumping 15.3 percent during the same period, according to eMarketer.

While it’s true back-to-school keeps booksellers busy, books are popular with shoppers year-round. Reviewing your options regarding book shipping can help streamline your business’ process plus help your bottom line. The United States Postal Service’s Media Mail Service – formerly known as Book Rate – is a cost-efficient method of shipping educational materials, and is calculated purely on weight and size.  This makes Media Mail a great option for ecommerce sellers who deal in books and other heavy media items.

The table below illustrates the vast price difference for mailing four books, weighing 15 pounds total, from San Francisco to Atlanta (Zone 8).

USPS Shipping Choice


Media Mail


Priority Mail

Priority Mail Flat Rate – Large Box


Now that you know a bit about Media Mail, here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re shipping books:

– Understand Media Mail Service’s requirements. Media Mail is restricted to books of at least eight pages, including play scripts and manuscripts; CDs/DVDs; sheet music; computer-readable media, 16mm or narrower film; printed test materials and reference charts; and loose-leaf pages and finders of medical information intended for medical professionals and hospitals. Items that do not qualify for Media Mail Service include advertising materials, loose photos and comic books.

– Be honest about what you’re sending. If you choose to use Media Mail, understand that in return for lower cost, you are also permitting postal inspectors to open and look over your mailing to ensure it’s eligible for the special rate.

– Expect slower shipping times. USPS deems Media Mail lower priority for delivery, so if speed is an issue, you may want to explore other options.

– Consider multiple shipping options. While Media Mail Service is designed to account for the weight of books and other educational material, sometimes it’s even cheaper to use Priority Mail’s flat rate packaging, especially if you’re sending several items together, or unusually heavy books.

– makes sending via Media Mail simple. The service’s Cost Codes feature makes it easy to differentiate eligible Media Mail shipments from your other products, and it’s even possible to print out a mailing label that hides the amount spent on shipping.

The Bottom Line
The Media Mail service provides ecommerce sellers with a consistently low-cost method of shipping books and other educational materials that can add up weight-wise under other shipping methods’ pricing. Understand the requirements and the tradeoffs versus faster options, and prove to your customers – and yourself – how book smart you are as an ecommerce seller!

5 E-Commerce Tips for Back-to-School Selling [Infographic]

August 13th, 2013 Comments off
stamps.com_back-to-school_ecommerce-tips_infographicBack-to-School shopping is in full swing as the National Retail Federation is expecting parents with children in grades K-12 to spend $26.7 billion in 2013.
The NRF also expects more than one-third of those sales to be online. Make sure you are ready for the second biggest sales period of the year with these
tips.  (Click to enlarge)

Back-to-School shopping is in full swing as the National Retail Federation (NRF) is expecting parents with children in grades K-12 to spend $26.7 billion in 2013. The NRF also expects more than one-third of those sales to be online. Make sure you are ready for the second biggest sales period of the year with these e-commerce tips.

(Click infographic to enlarge)


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