eBay prepares for major back-to-school sales season

Back-to-school is one of the largest sales events of the summer. With COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed across the country, retailers are preparing for a wave of shoppers to flood into their stores. But eBay sellers shouldn’t feel left out. Keep reading to learn how to increase the visibility of your listings to drive higher sales during this back-to-school season.

  1. eCommerce is a big part of the back-to-school equation in 2021. Experts project this season to be the biggest they’ve seen in the past 5 years, with eCommerce sales projecting to grow 9.3% from the previous year and bring in an estimated 41 billion in revenue.
  2. There’ll be more than pencils and paper flying off the shelves. Shoppers are ready to take advantage of sales and treat themselves to new clothes, gear and gadgets.
  3. Make a plan now, or miss out on the big wave. Sellers who take the time to create a strategy for their eBay business now will decrease the risk of losing out on big sales.

Let’s dive into each of these.

Not everyone is going back-to-stores for back-to-school.

Stores are reopening, but that doesn’t mean everyone is jumping off their couch to drive to the store. The convenience of online shopping paired with the impact of COVID-19 sped up the adoption of eCommerce. We saw the proof in our eBay back-to-school sales from last year, with an impressive 7.7 billion searches and 257 million purchases. We were curious and did more research into the impact of this eCommerce boom and how it changed buyers’ decisions on eBay. The results of our Re-open 2021 study reveals that our shoppers valued the convenience of online shopping and are willing to stick with eCommerce as their preferred choice for shopping.

1 in 4 eBay shoppers are shopping online more and willing to spend more money.

So what does this all mean for back-to-school on eBay? 

The convenience of online shopping partnered with the wide variety of products to browse through, make eBay an ideal place for shoppers to find their back-to-school products for the right price. You can take advantage of tools like Promoted Listings Standard to boost the visibility of your products and increase the likelihood of sales to curious shoppers. Even if you’ve never used Promoted Listings Standard before, there’s never been a better time to try, than now.

Back-to-school is more than shopping for supplies. Shoppers will treat themselves to other items during this sales period.

What do you think of when you hear “back-to-school”? While paper, pencils, pens and folders make up the traditional shopping list, our data tells a different story.

Keyword searches help us understand what’s trending on eBay. What’s more, we know 72% of all purchases on eBay start with a keyword search. Our 2019 back-to-school keywords fell in line with the traditional back-to-school shopping list (think notebooks, etc.). However, with in-home learning during most of 2020, we saw a major shift in purchases of electronics and home goods. In today’s hybrid environment, laptops, tablets and other household items evolved from “nice-to-haves” to necessities. We’re expecting this trend to continue this year.

But it’s not just high-tech gadgets shoppers are hunting for. Being stuck inside for an entire year gave shoppers enough time to hit the “refresh” button on their wardrobes. Industry experts agree that a nationwide makeover is happening as people are ready to ditch the sweats and treat themselves to a new, fresh look. eMarketer predicts that 60% of back-to-school shoppers will spend the bulk of their budget on new apparel. While Mastercard’s research predicts there will be a 78% increase in apparel shopping during back-to-school this year. 

Our own research points to Consumer Electronics and Fashion staying popular on eBay throughout back-to-school and beyond. Parents, too, are taking advantage of the seasonal sales, with Millennial Moms  also searching for their new look, while dads are in the market for new gadgets and collectibles. With so many shoppers browsing for these items on eBay, you can take advantage of our Automated Promoted Listings feature to efficiently manage your back-to-school product listings and keep them in-front of potential buyers.

Don’t be late to the party.

As buyers are already putting their back-to-school shopping lists together, it’s important to devise your advertising strategy now. Brands are already targeting these shoppers with higher spends on eCommerce advertising, driving up the cost to win their attention.

Working with eBay Ads to adopt an early and effective back-to-school campaign strategy can help boost your listings visibility and increase the chance of getting in front of the right buyers. Our suite of holistic advertising solutions, including  Promoted Listings Standard, is perfect for this kind of situation. We’re ready to keep the eCommerce boom going and help you find back-to-school success. Get started today by visiting our Seller Center for more information.

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