If you think the back-to-school shopping season is insignificant, think again. Studies show that it is eclipsed only by the winter holidays. And in some ways, back-to-school shopping is even more important because it is needs-driven, not just wants-driven. Toys, for example, are fun extras, but many school supplies are non-negotiable.

School shopping starts early these days so don’t delay your back-to-school marketing efforts. Schools frequently post their school supply lists early in the summer, and research shows that a large percentage of families are buying clothing, electronics, and basic school supplies in late June and early July.

Here are some ideas for making the most of the back-to-school shopping blitz:

  • Go mobile-friendly. More people are doing their shopping on mobile devices, especially the school-aged crowd. Make sure that your website is responsive.
  • Use social media. Having a lively social media presence boosts online sales significantly. Create plenty of buzz about your discounts and promotions.
  • Cater to all students. Don’t neglect specialty schools such as STEM, culinary, performing arts, or vocational. Focus on all grades from pre-school on up to college.
  • Stay trendy. Few people watch trends as closely as students do. To stay relevant, make sure that you are carrying the hippest merchandise. This includes brand names. If you can stock generous quantities of top brand names, you can continue to sell long after your competitors have fizzled out.
  • Focus on top earners. Electronics products and clothing lead the pack when it comes to profits. Where tech is concerned, more and more parents are buying their children laptops and tablets. If you can get in on that market, you stand to make a hefty profit.
  • Stock out-of-the-box products. Think beyond the pencils, backpacks, folders, and binders. Consider messenger bags, locker paraphernalia, accessories for tech products, art supplies, athletic shoes and gear for school sports teams, and more.
  • Offer free shipping. So many stores offer free shipping options now that you stand to lose out if you don’t.

An increasing number of people are turning to online shopping, and that includes back-to-school shopping. By being well prepared for this crucial retail opportunity, you can expect to see a substantial uptick in your profits.

For more help with harnessing the earning potential of retail holidays, attend our annual Amazon seller workshop . You can network with service providers in the industry and learn selling strategies from leading online entrepreneurs.