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Entice Alumni to Shop With Your Store This Holiday Season

Posted by Liz Schulte on 11/6/23 7:30 AM
Topics: bookstore events, Bookstore marketing, marketing for college bookstores

November and December are typically busy retail months. Many shoppers are actively looking for great deals or the perfect holiday gift. This year, boost your holidays sales by driving more alumni traffic to the campus store website throughout the season with these easy marketing tips.

Entice Alumni to Shop With Your StoreMaximize the number of customers you serve through the end of the year by amplifying your great online retail selection. We have collected 10 best practices to help your store grow its reach and bring more shoppers to your site.

  1. Discount for email/text message subscribers
    Building a strong email/text message list of shoppers is something that will continue to serve your store for many years to come. A great way to encourage more customers to sign up to receive marketing notifications from the store is to offer subscribers an additional percentage off their purchase.

  2. Promote sales early and often
    Make sure potential customers know what merchandise will be on sale and when, especially leading into Black Friday. Leading up to the mega shopping day, people are paying close attention to which stores have the deals they would most want to take advantage of. Build a sense of excitement around the products and sales in your store. Once the sale starts, plan a few messages that build on a sense of urgency — i.e., Only two hours left to get this great deal!

  3. Bundle products
    Holidays are a good time to look at gift bundling options. Get some inspiration from these holiday gift bundles.

  4. Retarget abandoned carts
    There are many reasons customers might abandon their online shopping carts. Have a plan and automatic messages in place to reengage these shoppers. Check out three ways to better engage customers with cart abandonment emails.

  5. Market to past customers
    If customers had a good experience shopping in your store in the past, chances are they will be willing to shop with you again. Look to the people who shopped with the store in the years before and let them know about your upcoming sales. Learn how to expand your store’s marketing and simplify customer service with MBS CRM.

  6. Don’t forget Cyber Monday
    Black Friday is a great day to attract shoppers, but so is Cyber Monday. Take advantage of both popular shopping days by offering unique promotions each day.

  7. Host a social media shopping event
    If your store has an engaged social media following, consider hosting a live social media shopping event. Create an event page and make sure you let all of your followers know they can get fantastic deals during the event. You can even work with and include some pop-up vendors during the online sale. During the event post links to specific products on your site with a promotional code for event attendees.

  8. Give customers free shipping if they hit a minimum threshold
    One of the top reasons customers abandon their cart is shipping costs. Give customers a reason to spend more in your store — i.e., order more than $90 get free shipping!

  9. Create a gift guide
    Sometimes people need help identifying the perfect gift. Gift guides can help customers who are shopping for specific people quickly identify products that might interest the person they are looking for (i.e., shopping for a student vs. a parent). Use your store’s business intelligence to identify the most popular merchandise for students vs. alumni to create your guide.

  10. Partner with the alumni association or other on-campus departments
    It is likely your school’s alumni association keeps in contact with as many alumni as they can. Work with the association (or other on-campus groups) to offer a special promotion for their membership. This is a good way to potentially attract new customers and build your subscriber list.

What have been the most successful end-of-year promotions for your store? Let us know in the comments.


Find out how MBS can help you reduce overhead, save students money and  streamline operations with a tailored retail management system. Learn More


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