Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Increase Online Sales This Summer

Posted by Liz Schulte on 6/20/23 7:00 AM
Topics: Marketing to Students, college bookstore industry trends, benefits of online retail

In-store foot traffic probably slows down significantly over the summer. Take this natural lull to develop a strong eCommerce strategy that will boost your store’s online sales for the entire year and help increase summer sales.

Increase-Online-Sales-This-Summer_FO-Header_Proof-v1_2306163 Steps to Boost Online Sales

  1. Develop an SEO strategy
    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) determines where your store website falls in search engine results. If a potential customer searches for “[school abbreviation] sweatshirt,” the search engine comes back with pages of results. In a survey conducted by Moz, only 7% of respondents said they look beyond page one of the search results.

    Every online retail store that sells merchandise related to your school is constantly working to solidify their SEO, so their sites appear higher in the search results. This is why your store needs to develop and implement a strong SEO strategy if you do not already have one.

    Search engines are designed to scan text and meta text on various sites and pick the ones that best fit the words that were searched. Keywords direct the search engines to the most appropriate sites. Some easy ways to get started with SEO are to select keywords, make sure they are naturally included in site text, headers and meta text, add appropriate keywords to FAQ pages and make sure any video on your site is transcribed. Learn more about how your store can optimize SEO.

  2. Continue marketing your store all summer
    Your marketing efforts shouldn’t end when students leave campus. With an eCommerce site, your store is accessible all year. Continue to plan summer sales and develop an unbeatable marketing plan.

    Create an email and or text message marketing series that will help you maintain your connection with shoppers. The more personalized the messages can be the better.
    Is your store clearing out last year’s sweatshirts? Email the students who bought a sweatshirt last term and let them know about the great deals they could get.
    With tools like the MBS CRM, stores have a tremendous amount of information at their disposal. You can easily identify customers for targeted marketing campaigns. Hear from Kurt Kaiser with Colorado State University about how CRM improves customer outreach.

  3. Follow up on abandoned carts
    Did you know that nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned and almost 86% of mobile users abandon their carts? If even a fraction of these shoppers completed their order, your online sales would dramatically increase. That’s why it is so important to have the processes in place to simplify checkout and automatically follow up on abandoned shopping carts.

    Research shows that optimizing checkout to make it as simple as possible can increase cart conversions by more than 35%. However, the number one reason shoppers give for abandoning their cart is that the shipping costs or extra fees are too high. We recommend that when you are establishing your cart abandonment processes, you plan to send customers more than one email.

    The first email might just be a reminder that the items are still waiting in their cart. However, if that nudge isn’t enough to get them to complete their purchase, consider other incentives like a discount or free shipping to entice them back to their purchase. Get three cart abandonment email best practices.

    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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