Back to school. Earning money on school items programs

Admitad Affiliate North America
4 min readAug 20, 2021

Why Back to school offers matter

Pre-academic year shopping is an indispensable and important process for school children, students, and their parents. Admitad Affiliate experts calculate every year how much it costs to gear up a child for a new school year. In 2020, preparation costs for one US schoolchild totaled $789. Student expenses are even higher.

Statistics also suggest that at least 55% of people prefer buying school items online.

It is July and August when demand for such products and services gains 50% compared to other months. However, there are some late buyers in September, for in most European countries, as well as in the US, Canada, and Mexico, the academic year starts in August-September.

In 2021 the total spending is expected to be $71.0B, twice than a year ago.

Top categories

Top categories in 2020 were:

  1. Electronics
  2. Clothing
  3. Shoes
  4. Apartment/dorm furnishing
  5. Writing materials

However, the Back to school vertical can provide profit to any publisher, no matter the niche. But the key thing here is associating a product with a newsworthy event.

Stationery, gadgets, school uniform, bags and backpacks, books are great offerings, but there is much more fish in the sea. Come up with what schoolchildren may also need — e.g., lunchboxes, hobby and art stuff, office furniture for home studying, etc. Last but not least, gifts for teachers constitute a standalone large category.

Parents spend more on high-tech products. Online education, courses, software — everything finds its consumer. And since tutors also see high demand, consider driving traffic to freelance marketplaces and hiring services.

With the start of the pandemic, personal hygiene products — sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, masks — broke into the top of the most popular school items, in line with stationery and uniforms.

What drives traffic?

We live in the world of severe competition. Users enjoy a wealth of options. This is why you need to incentivize a user to buy from you. Discounts, deals, bonuses, and cashback are good examples of such incentives. One of the most common discount models is coupons: search queries such as “product/brand + coupon” are hugely popular.

Host contests, giveaways; provide long-standing or new customers with good discounts. Trust us, people will appreciate it.

Statistics show that during the back-to-school sale, it is the discounts and deals that people seek first. Then go for free delivery, competitive prices, and product quality. Keep in mind that the segment of elite items is too small for such a massive sale.

You can merge this profit with another powerful sales model, gamification. Prompt users to pass simple quests and get rewards. For instance, stationery distributor Staples offers users bonuses for finding differences between similar images (see screenshot).

Which platforms to choose?

According to a recent Hubspot report, social media are the most popular business model for promoting and selling products. And you may want to not limit yourself to well-known social media: employ some low-key platforms. The latter may be not that popular in some countries but can work great for other regions and specific segments of the target audience.

Think on which platforms your target users hang out. For instance, schoolchildren and students love watching live sessions on Twitch and YouTube; these platforms can be great places to publish ads.

Tips to attract more audience

  • Sell through content

Shopping before the start of the academic year can be a tough task. What brands and products to choose, where to find them, at which prices? Make your users’ lives easier with helpful content. They will appreciate that. You can make instructions or guides.

  • Ask your consumers what they need, and they will tell you. Carry out surveys, prompt users to share their opinion, read comments and reviews on your rivals’ websites.
  • Invoke video reviews, advertising campaigns with dances and songs, stories, lives — use anything you like.
  • Come up with original slogans. Your allies will be psychological triggers and a good understanding of what your audience needs and what can stimulate customers to buy.
  • Regardless of the format you handle, make use of storytelling, a format that may be highly effective and versatile.

A few more insights

  • Numbers tell us that when fathers are in charge of shopping, they are ready to spend at least 10% more than needed on their child’s needs.
  • Not only do schoolchildren get back to their desks, but also students. In this context, you need to work on targeting settings and the assortment.
  • Teachers and professors are also preparing for the academic year. For them, you can create a dedicated advertising campaign comprising industry-specific tips and items.
  • You’d better concentrate on more specific targeting options, depending on your audience’s needs. Segmenting is key.

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Admitad Affiliate North America

We provide managed promotion on the CPA/Rev-Share model across our global affiliate network of 15 different traffic categories in 15 different languages.