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10 Back to School Sale Ideas for Your Custom Product Shop

BACK TO SCHOOL. Those three little words somehow manage to elicit all kinds of mixed feelings! They mean summer’s over… but also that a new beginning is on the horizon. They mean change is about to happen… but some of those changes might be even better than anticipated. They mean school’s about to be in session… but they’re also a great excuse for some fun shopping!

Back to school doesn’t just affect K-12 kids – it’s also a time of change for college students, parents of little ones, and beyond. And in the face of COVID-19, the start of the 2021-2022 school year is also a much-anticipated return to normal – or at least, more normal than what many students have been used to at school for the last 18 months. Many students and teachers are about to socialize in larger groups again and return to in-person learning after spending most of their time away from the traditional classroom.

But as a retailer, back to school season means something entirely different for you. If you play your cards right, it could be a major sales period for your online or in-person store – a great time to introduce new products in your shop and drive more purchases. After all, the average family with children from elementary to high school age spends nearly $700 on back-to-school shopping. Your task is simply to make sure they spend a share of that in YOUR store!

Of course, back-to-school shopping doesn’t just include basic school supplies like pencils, backpacks, and notebooks. It also involves apparel and extras for decorating those things! Whether you embrace a back-to-school theme or simply focus on the upcoming fall season, you could create custom patches hats, socks, lanyards, pins, and other custom products to sell – and drive more purchases of them by running an exciting promotion! 

Back to school sales aren’t just for department stores and kids shops – any business owner can take advantage of this great sales season. Here are 10 great back-to-school sale ideas for your custom product shop. Consider how you can implement one or a few of them in the upcoming weeks!

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10% off site-wide sale

It’s a classic for a reason! Celebrate the week leading up to the first day of school with a 10% off site-wide sale in honor of the occasion. Just be sure to emphasize what the sale’s for and promote select products that are especially relevant, like custom patches for decorating backpacks or school-themed socks!

Doorbuster sale

Doorbuster sales aren’t just for Black Friday, you know! If you have a brick-and-mortar boutique, pick a day leading up to the first day of school and offer fun doorbuster deals. You could throw in a free gift, offer a kickback discount, or do a BOGO promotion just for the first 50 customers of the day. It’s a great way to get people to come out and visit your store!

Summer clear-out sale

Out with the old and in with the new! Make way for new fall and winter inventory by marking down summer seasonal items. It’s a great chance for bargain-hunter customers to stock up on great products at a lower price. (Plus, depending on where you live, summer clothing might still be totally practical for the first month or so of school!)

Winter stock up sale

Let’s be honest – not every parent loves hitting the mall every time their kids grow or the weather changes. Help practical parents plan ahead by giving them early access to cold-weather clothes! This is a great opportunity to test out products you are planning on introducing later in the season or to get rid of stock you didn’t manage to move last winter.

Fall sale

Back-to-school season might as well be called back-to-fall season! Usher in the upcoming season by running a sale on fall-themed clothing, from autumnal hues to layer-able cardigans to chunky scarves and more. It’s a great time to refresh your displays and bring out some adorable cozy styles!

School supplies sale

It may sound obvious, but this is exactly the sort of thing many parents and kids are looking for right about now! If you sell any products that are especially relevant for school, run a great sale on just those select items. For example, you could do a BOGO sale on notebooks or a 20% off sale on all school-themed stickers or pins. Just be sure to create a collection of products included in the promotion, whether by grouping them on your site or displaying them clearly in your store!

Free gift promotion

“Free” is pretty much every customer’s favorite word. For a limited time, throw in a free gift with every qualifying online or in-store purchase. It doesn’t have to be big to make an impact – it could be a back-to-school pin, a fall-themed patch, or even a keychain with your store logo on it. Just be sure the terms for receiving the free gift are clear!

Student/teacher discount

Make students and/or teachers feel extra special this season. Offer an additional 10% discount when students or teachers show their ID at checkout. You could even stack this extra discount on top of any other back to school deals you run this fall! Feeling extra generous? Keep this discount going all year long!

Parent perks

Sure, most back-to-school shopping is geared toward children… but who do you think is the one paying for all of it? Shine the spotlight on parents with a fun sale just for them, whether on self-care items they can use while their kids are away at school or cozy apparel they’ll love to bundle up in as the weather gets colder. 

Back to school bundles

Take the guesswork out of school shopping! Create bundles of products every kid needs as they’re heading back to school and sell them together at a discount. You could create bundles of custom products you already sell or partner with another local shop to cross-promote and sell your items together.




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