2018 Back-to-School Shopping Predictions for eCommerce

back-to-school shopping

Over the last decade, we’ve seen the significant rise of eCommerce while brick-and-mortar shopping has steadily declined. In fact, last year online retail sales reached $453.5 billion, accounting for nearly 9 percent of total retail sales. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the eCommerce industry is starting to dominate the back-to-school shopping season. Most businesses consider this time of the year to run from early July through mid-September as parents and students purchase new items in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Last year, back-to-school shopping brought in $83.3 billion in sales, making it the second most popular time to buy in the U.S. after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, it’s estimated that consumers will spend about $82.8 billion for K-12 and college back-to-school expenses. That leaves plenty of potential for eCommerce businesses who sell clothes, footwear, electronics and other popular back-to-school items.

So, as an eCommerce store owner, how can you tap into this rapidly growing market? In this post, we’ll reveal current back-to-school shopping trends for this year and ways to incorporate our suggestions so that you can capitalize on this popular shopping season, including enticing promotions to inspire conversions.

Sales, Specials and Discounts Attract Consumers

While it’s important to manage your product selection, update your site appearance and add fresh items to your eCommerce store, the best way to thrive during the back-to-school shopping season is to focus on your promotional marketing strategies. It’s been proven time and time again that consumers respond positively to sales during major retail events like back-to-school shopping events or Black Friday.

According to Shopify, 90 percent of retail businesses report that promotional sales bring in new customers. In fact, 80 percent of consumers say they would make first-time purchases from a brand if they offered a discount, and 93 percent of those consumers would become repeat customers if they considered the incentives to be worthwhile.

Use Targeted Campaigns to Promote Your Discounts

Spreading the word about your back-to-school shopping promotion is equally as important as running the sale itself. To create buzz and attract new potential consumers, Springbot can design customized email and social media campaigns for your business. Once people begin talking about your eCommerce store and its promotions, you can follow up with personalized messages to further engage with customers and increase your opportunities to convert.

Who’s Shopping and How Are They Doing It?

The demographics for back-to-school shoppers are shifting toward younger people as millennials grow older and begin to start their own families. Lucky for eCommerce companies, these younger parents are more accustomed to online shopping, so it’s likely they will continue visiting digital stores over brick-and-mortar stores during the back-to-school season.

Clothing and footwear are two industries that still attract in-store shoppers, but over the last decade, retail sales have declined while online sales for the same items have steadily increased. Utilizing a promotion for online purchases can dramatically improve eCommerce conversions, especially for traditional retail items like children’s clothing and footwear.

Develop a Mobile Marketing Strategy

While desktop shopping still dominates the eCommerce world, mobile consumers continue to grow. In fact, 43 percent of shoppers used mobile for back-to-school shopping in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation.

Interested in developing a back-to-school shopping marketing strategy for your business? Springbot can create and automate campaigns across multiple platforms while acting as an analytical tool to help you identify your consumers and discover what they’re interested in buying. That way, you can capture more revenue while growing your brand presence online.


With a projected $82.8 billion in revenue on the line, it’s essential that eCommerce businesses stay current on recent trends and provide enticing promotions that engage their target audience and make back-to-school shopping easy to complete for online shoppers. If you follow these best marketing practices, you’ll be set to capture essential sales during this busy season and grow your brand presence online.