Marketing Tips for Promoting the Back to School Opportunity in Retail

Back to School time is an excellent opportunity for retailers to reconnect with existing customers and to attract new customers to your store – regardless of the type of products you sell.

Back to School is also an excellent season in which independent retailers can demonstrate their point of difference over big players like supermarkets, Big W, Officeworks and the like in the back to School and general stationery stakes. This is the time for the small business to shine folks!

Here are some free marketing suggestions (some mainstream and some left field) designed to help you attract customers and get them shopping your Back to School range. Most of these marketing tips can be tried without spending too much money:

Tell a visual story in-store. Get an old school desk and create a display showing your back to School supplies being used.

  1. Support a local school. Invite current and past students to tell their school stories through a display in your window or in store on a large noticeboard. The stories could be in the form of text on a page, a collage or photos.
  2. School stories. Invite customers, young and old to share their school stories in 50 words or less. Create an entry form. Stick the stories up on a wall for all to read. Offer a small prize for the best story.
  3. Old School Photos. Get customers 25 and over to bring in their favourite old school photo. Offer a small price for the best. Maybe group the photos: 25 to 40; 40 to 60; 60+. This could be an educational display as well as a beacon for nostalgia buffs.
  4. Run a sale for teachers. Consider giving teachers a special discount of anything (within reason) in store. Getting teachers in could help bring the students in.
  5. Discount by value. Offer a discount to customers who spend over a certain amount – respecting their loyalty to your business.
  6. Dress in uniforms. Have a day or two when all shop floor employees dress in school uniform.
  7. Be an information hub. Create a bulletin board of local school events – reminding parents of engagement opportunities. This should be maintained through the school year and done in association with the school.
  8. Host a shopping event. While you still have back to school stock on the shop floor host an event with games and prizes where you have all back to School stock on special. This should be a Back to School themed event and promoted well in advance.
  9. Host a bake sale. Invite a fund raising group connected with a local school to host a bake sale or a sausage sizzle out the front of your store on a couple of days through the Back to School sale season.
  10. Holiday fun. Run a competition for kinder and primary students inviting art entries showing their favourite part of the school holidays. Put the art on show. Offer a small prize. Parents will love the activity opportunity and the entrants will love seeing their work on show.
  11. Teacher gifts. If you have teacher gifts left over from your Christmas sales, put these out as some students may want to get the year off to a good start.
  12. Student gifts. Family and friends may want to give students a nice gift to acknowledge the start of the new year – maybe they are starting at a new school. Create a display of gifts especially for students.

No matter how big or small Back to School is in your store, it is an opportunity to have some fun and strengthen your connection with the local community.

While originally developed for Australian newsagents, these marketing tips could work in many different retail situations.

Tips For Protection Against Identity Theft – Don’t Be One of This Year’s 9 Million Victims

Identity theft is a serious criminal business. 9 million Americans will be victims this year alone. So, here are some tips for protection against identity theft.

First of all, a very easy way for your identity to be stolen is just to have your wallet or purse lifted. So, don’t carry more identifying information than you need. Carry only a couple of credit cards at most and never keep your social security card on you.

Second, protect your data from dumpster divers by shredding all bills, credit card statements, and government records. Never throw whole documents away and don’t think that torn paper can’t be put back together by someone who has a financial motive to do so.

Third, be aware that your personal information can be hacked if you don’t have secure passwords. Instead of using an easy to remember word as a password, get a computer generated password that includes letters, numbers and special characters.

Another of my tips for protection against identity theft is to never give out your credit card information to someone who calls or emails you. You should always initiate the transaction yourself.

Similarly, don’t give your credit card information to someone unless you know that they will handle the information properly. Unless it is a major retailer, the small companies who do business online should use an independent third party credit card processing service such as paypal.

Finally, you should get a fraud prevention monitoring service. This is perhaps the most important of my tips for protection against identity theft. If you don’t have someone monitoring your credit information, government records, utility records, etc., you could find yourself unpleasantly surprised by a collector who is demanding money that you don’t owe.

Smart Social Media Tips for Retailers

It is no joke to establish a business. You definitely want to draw consumers to your store and please them with your goods. So why not utilize modern technology to finding these people. This is when social media training comes handy for your business. This will make you understand how your store should utilize it and gain more customers.

As a retailer, you may need social media to promote what you want to offer. Certainly social media experts can show the right way to do it. They can explain how your online business can draw traffic. Or you may want more consumers to drop by your traditional store.

To understand how social media work especially for retailers, below are few tips to guide you with your marketing strategy. This may help you win customers and keep your business going.

1) Popularize your retail store by showing actual pictures and videos

This is why photos and videos are useful. You can utilize Facebook to post your physical store and the products you sell and tweet comments in Twitter. You can create a fanpage for followers to like it. This way they know you exist; perhaps they may visit your store and try your products.

2) Know your audience and connect with them

As you have advertised your business, you will know who are your audience and how you can keep them for good. You may want them to like your fanpage or comment your tweet. If possible, you may want superstars to disseminate information as they have many followers. Who knows, this can create a major impact for the business.

3) Use gadgets to reach consumers

A portable computer is for home or office use. As you travel, bring along smaller gadgets to connect you to your audience. Technology has provided mobile phones and tablets to stay in touch with consumers. Remember social media allows you to interact with them. This way, you know where your business stands as your fans continue to communicate with you.

4) Utilize email and mobile marketing

More people will know about your business. They will want to leave personal information for you to contact. You can send them email or mobile marketing and offer various promotions. Many times, consumers can drop by and patronize what you got. They will also love to receive freebies, special offers and discounts.

Nothing is better than using social media as your means of reaching people. You can learn new techniques if you seek help from a social media training company.