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July 8, 2021

5 ideas to maximize ROI this back-to-school-season

Experts predict this back-to-school shopping season will be a record-breaking year. We've gathered the top 5 tips and tricks marketers can keep in their tool belt to deliver greater personalization this season.

Brianna Conley

School is out, warm weather is here, and many brands are preparing for a busy second half of the year.

Although summer is officially here and the last thing we want to do is burst your vacation-mode, the reality is back-to-school season is just around the corner.

As back-to-school campaigns start to ramp up, now is the time to simplify the consumer journey, increase engagement, and excitement ahead of the second busiest shopping season of the year.

Not sure where to start?

Don’t worry, we’ve gathered out top back-to-school campaign tips just for you. Keep reading to learn more and start maximizing your ROI this season.

What to expect this back-to-school season

This year is likely to be a lot different than what many kids, parents, and teachers are used to from the past two years. With most kids heading back to in-person learning this fall, many brands are anticipating a busier shopping season than ever before.

A recent report by Ceros found that 58% of parents anticipate the back-to-school season to be a bigger deal for their family this year. Additional results show as much as 62% of shoppers plan to do the majority of back-to-school purchasing in July or August.

So, what does that mean for marketers?

The good news is that sales are expected to be higher this year (by 5.5% to be exact), but that also means the pressure to deliver an exceptional customer experience is equally as high this time around.

How to personalize the back-to-school shopping experience

The best way to deliver an exceptional experience this season is to create more personalized back-to-school marketing campaigns with interactive experiences.

We’ve gathered the top 5 interactive experiences we recommend incorporating into you back-to-school marketing this season.

1. Product Finders

One of the easiest ways to transform the shopping experience this back-to-school season is to  launch a simple product finder.

Product finders are the surefire way to increase conversion this back-to-school season, since they are a great way to drive consumers right to the best products based on their preferences.

We love this product finder quiz from our friends at Boden. It’s the perfect way to make online shopping simple, convenient, and – most importantly – FUN!

2. Personality Quizzes

Who doesn’t love a personality quiz?

If your brand is looking to add some fun to the shopping experience, we recommend switching up a standard product finder with a personality quiz.

Check out this ‘School Style’ quiz by JC Penney:

By answering just a few questions, such as “what do you like most about school?” and “what best describes your back-to-school style?” shopping online for a new outfit is completed in a matter of seconds.

Plus, redirect links bring consumers right to the product page to complete the purchase and check another item off their back-to-school to-do list.

The back-to-school season is busy not just for kids, but for parents too! This personality quiz by our friends at Dorel Juvenile highlights an engaging way to connect with parents and make the shopping experience a bit more fun!

Not only are personality quizzes fun and engaging, but they also provide an entirely unique shopping experience. Your brand can make recommendations based on any grouping of answers, and get to know consumers better along the way.

3. Recipe Quizzes

Back-to-school season means back to busy schedules and after school activities! Simplify your consumer’s weeknight menu (and the perfect school lunch recommendations) with a recipe quiz!

One of our partners, Pinterest, has created dozens of fun, engaging recipe quizzes in order to curate fully personalized Pinterest pin boards based on consumer preferences.

For example, this experience with Hidden Valley Ranch helps consumers build fully personalized recipe boards based on preferences, cooking level, time restrictions, etc. It’s the perfect way to simplify consumer’s lives and relieve some of the stress from a busy time of year!

*Recipe Quizzes for parents too!*

Pinterest has also worked with a number of brands to create personalized drink recipe quizzes, so parents can unwind and relax too during a stressful time of year.

Check out this new ‘Ginspirational’ quiz by Hendricks gin.

4. Lookbooks

One of the simplest solutions to kickstart back-to-school shopping is with an interactive lookbook!

Lookbooks are the perfect way to inspire consumers with outfit recommendations and style ideas right on-site. Adding redirect links right to product pages makes the process of buying a new outfit simple, convenient and fun!

Check out this interactive lookbook by our friends at Express.

Rather than having to scroll through thousands of products, an interactive lookbook helps consumers filter through clothing styles to better narrow their search and find products that are most relevant to them.

5. College Dorm Inspiration

One of the biggest back-to-school events every year is college dorm room shopping, decorating, planning, etc.

One way to minimize the stress of an already overwhelming time for students (and parents!) is to create inspirational experiences that make the interior design process much simpler and convenient.

This experience by our wonderful partner Pinterest and their client, Ikea, highlight a simple and fun way to engage consumers and help them find their perfect dorm room aesthetic in a matter of seconds.

The best part is Ikea is keeping all living arrangements top of mind so whether a student is living at home, on-campus, or off-campus, they can create fully personalized design recommendations based on their needs.

How to maximize back-to-school campaigns this season

Now, you’ve outlined the first interactive experience your team plans to launch as a part of your back-to-school marketing campaign. The next step is to determine where and how you want to engage your consumers this season.

We recommend trying out a few of the many different launch channel options.

Most clients embed experiences above the fold right on their homepage to maximize exposure and guide a consumer to products immediately.

The good news about interactive experiences is that they can be launched across a number of channels so you can engage consumers wherever they are.

Social media is a great launch channel to test out. A lot of kids are most active on TikTok, whereas parents are most active on Facebook. By testing out a few different launch channels, your brand can ensure consumers engage with your experience wherever they shop.

Another easy way to incorporate quizzes into your back-to-school ad campaigns is to embed and experience right into a scheduled email campaign.

Stand out from all of the noise in your consumers inboxes with a fun, unique quiz that instantly simplifies the shopping experiences.

Get Started Today

Now, your marketing team has all of the tips, tricks, and insights you need to optimize your back-to-school marketing campaigns this year!

Remember: Back-to-school season kicks off a busy shopping season for the remainder of the year.

With a number of holidays and long-weekends sprinkled in September-December, a back-to-school quiz campaign can definitely be a great way to kick off a new engagement method and test and learn for other upcoming events.

Stay tuned as we launch some holiday-specific content over the next few months, and in the meantime, Click here to start optimizing your consumer’s shopping experience today!

Brianna Conley

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