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Ah, August, it feels like just yesterday the school buses were making their last stops for the school year. The weather remains warm and the days long, yet there is a noticeable change in the air. That change is what children, parents, teachers and marketers alike refer to as “back-to-school” time. It’s a joyous time for millions of parents eager to return their children to the classroom.

But August is also a very important time for you as a marketer. The back-to-school shopping season is the second highest consumer spending event of the year (behind the holidays), and a great time to increase online sales using retargeting–if you haven’t already started. According to a recent study by the National Retail Foundation (NRF), back-to-school and back-to-college spending combined is expected to reach $72.5 billion this school year. Families with school-age children will spend an average of $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies, and electronics, while college students preparing for their return to independence will spend a whopping $836.83 on average. The NRF also notes that 70% of consumers will begin their shopping within one week to one month of school starting–now is the time to begin marketing to your potential customers.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you drive the highest online ROI this back-to-school season:

  1. Re-engage your audience: Retargeting is a great way to reach your audience after they leave your site by serving display ads to them as they browse Facebook and the web. It will keep your brand top of mind and drive people back to your site before they purchase a similar product from your competitor.
  2. Create value: Back-to-school shoppers love bargains. According to the NRF, this season there will be more people comparison shopping online and these savvy shoppers will be looking for sales. So be sure to use creative that includes promotions, sales, and other offers like free shipping. Ad creates value with its ads by offering savvy back-to-school shoppers up to half-off on essentials.

  3. Reward the loyal: A great way to reward those customers who have purchased from your site in the past is by offering a special discount on popular products. This is also a very effective strategy for those people who placed items in the shopping cart to get them to complete their transactions.
  4. Be social: Re-engage prospective customers by retargeting them directly in the Facebook News Feed. These premium placed ad units are highly-visible and highly engaging. With this comes the viral social effect as people like, share, and comment on your ad, gaining more fans while increasing sales.
  5. Added Bonus: The holiday shopping season is right around the corner, so start learning best practices for retargeting your customers now.

These tips will make your brand stand out when your audience is comparing the best products and prices this back-to-school shopping season. So be sure to take advantage of the consumer shopping frenzy that comes with the winding down of these warm summer months. Class is in session.