How to rock your Back-to-school campaigns with Interactive Content10 min read

Back-to-school campaigns are a must-have in your Seasonal Marketing Strategy if you are in retail, e-Commerce, or any related Industries. Why? Because it’s one of the most lucrative periods of the year for many companies. Did you know that on average families in the U.S spend $849 per child on back-to-school merchandise? For back-to-college merchandise, it’s even more with an incredible amount of $1200.  

However, the back-to-school market is filled with lots and lots of back-to-school campaigns, so it’s hard to get noticed by potential customers. But, don’t worry, in this article, we will help you out by explaining the latest trend in the back-to-school strategy. Moreover, we will present 8 different Interactive back-to-school campaigns to help you stand out from the crowd.  

Must-know back-to-school campaigns trends & facts:  

8 Interactive back-to-school campaigns to stand out from the crowd:

  1. Marketing Games
  2. Interactive Flipbooks
  3. Guided Selling
  4. Interactive Infographics
  5. Shopping Videos
  6. Contests
  7. Daily Surprises

Must-know back-to-school campaigns trends & facts 

In the following section, we will present the result of our research on current and past trends in back-to-school marketing. The goal is to give you all the knowledge you need to know to plan successful back-to-school campaigns. 

When do people start their Back-to-school shopping?  

Since 2021, we have seen a shift in the time period people shop for back-to-school items. While before it used to be in August, some families now shop as early as June. Indeed, 26% of shoppers started in June of 2021 compared to only 17% in 2019. Moreover, 39% of shoppers say they shop during the end of June Sales and 51% of shoppers said they started already early July. Finally, 18% said they have already completed their shopping by the end of July.   

Why are we seeing this shift in time? They are two major causes: Covid disruption and the Suez Canal. Both because of Covid19 and the Suez Canal, lots of items on our shelves were out of stock for weeks. So, families are now afraid that they won’t get the items they need if they wait last minute. Therefore, they started their shopping earlier than before. This means that if you didn’t get started with your back-to-school campaigns, you must do it ASAP! 

Another important factor regarding when people shop for back-to-school is that lots of families (61%) are shopping during key sales events. These key sales events include Prime Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. 

Back-to-school campaigns: When to people buy?

What do people buy for Back-to-school and Back-to-College?  

In 2021, for back-to-school, electronics is by far the most shopped category of items, followed by clothing and accessories, and shoes. In 2021, we have seen a big boost in clothing and shoes because of the pandemic. After spending most of 2020 studying from home in jogging, students were excited to go back to school and they were looking most forward to buying new clothes to wear. While we are not sure if this trend is going to continue in 2022, promoting clothing and shoes in your Back-to-school campaigns is always a winner! Regarding electronics, the most important items for Back-to-school were laptops, calculators, tablets, accessories, and speakers in this order.  

For Back-to-College, electronics was the top Back-to-school category, far in front of the other categories. The second and third categories were respectively dorm and apartment furnishings and clothing and accessories. Regarding electronics, the most bought types were laptops, tablets, accessories, calculators, and printers. Other important necessities for Back-to-school and Back-to-College are school necessities such as notebooks, pencils, pencil cases, erasers, and so on.  

Keep these items in mind to create successful back-to-school campaigns. You want to promote items and merchandise that are a must-have for students and families.  

Source: National Retail Federation 

Back-to-school campaigns: What do people buy?

Where do people shop for back-to-school?  

Unsurprisingly, both for back-to-school and back-to-college, the top destination to buy back-to-school merchandise is online! Keep that in mind, and don’t forget to focus on your online back-to-school campaigns.  

The last 4 destinations for Back-to-school were respectively department stores, discount stores, clothing stores, and office supply stores. For Back-to-college, it was department stores, discount stores, office supply stores, and college bookstores. 

We have also seen a trend in recent years that families were going away from mass merchant stores and going more to dollar stores or online-only stores instead.  

Source: National Retail Federation 

Back-to-school campaigns: where do people shop?

The current inflation crisis and Back-to-school campaigns 

An important factor to consider in 2022 is the inflation crisis. Prices are going crazy high and families around the world are struggling to follow their budgets. This means that more than ever this year, families are going to look for discounts and deals and even affordable payment plans. Keep that in mind when thinking to create the best Back-to-school campaigns out there.  

7 Interactive back-to-school campaigns to stand out from the crowd 

In the following section, we will present 8 different Interactive Back-to-school campaign ideas to boost your sales this summer.  

1. Marketing Games  

Marketing Games are audience mini-games used by companies to attract new customers, engage their audience, promote their products, or boost their email list.  Many different types of Marketing Games can be used to create the best Back-to-school Campaigns. For example, you could create a fun tapping game where participants need to click 100 times on a backpack to get 15% discounts on their next purchase.  

Pro Tip: Remember that discounts are a win this year! 

Back-to-school campaigns
Idea 1: Guided Selling

2. Interactive Flipbooks 

Another great idea would be to create a special back-to-school Interactive Flipbook! In your Flipbook, you could highlight the most important fashion trends of the next season, the must-have merchandise to start school, your best discounts, and so on. In other words, by looking at your Interactive Flipbook, families could find great ideas and deals, and directly buy the items they like from your website!  

Check out this Interactive Flipbook example that was made for Black Friday:  

Back-to-school campaigns
Idea 2: Interactive Flipbook

3. Guided Selling

Another successful Interactive back-to-school campaign idea could be to add a Guided Selling experience to your website. So, when online shoppers arrive on your website, you can guide them directly to your best back-to-school discounts and help them find exactly what they are looking for. Improving the user experience of your website can be a determining factor in persuading potential customers choose you over competitors.  

For example, if you are selling computers, you could have a special Guided Selling experience to help parents and students find the best laptop for their needs.  

Back-to-school campaigns
Idea 3: Guided Selling

4. Interactive Infographics 

Another of the best interactive back-to-school campaigns that can help families make the best choices about electronics is an Interactive Infographic. There are so many different types of electronics out there. It’s hard to know which phones, tablets, or computers you must buy for your children. Companies that provide helpful and easily digestible content material to help website visitors make good choices can succeed in boosting their sales.   

Take a look at this Interactive Infographic where we compare two different phones. 

Pro Tip: Remember, electronics is the top category of back-to-school purchases 

Back-to-school campaigns
Idea 4: Interactive Infographics

5. Shopping Videos 

A shopping video is a type of Interactive Video. It can also be one of the most successful back-to-school campaigns out there because they are so engaging Interactive Experiences. They are particularly good for clothing or home furniture companies. Present your most popular pieces of clothes or furniture/decorations and let viewers click on the items to learn more and add them directly to their baskets.  

Check this Shopping Video from Lyngby to get an example of how it works:  

Back-to-school campaigns
Idea 5: Shopping Videos

6. Contests 

Contests are definitely a must-do this year because people are looking for bargains and discounts more than ever. Create a basket with “Must-have back-to-school things” that people can win. Use this opportunity to boost the success of your marketing strategy by either asking people to sign in a lead form to participate or to share user-generated content with a special # on social media. In the first tactic, you succeed in growing your email list, in the second one you succeed in increasing brand awareness.  

Check out this User-Generated contest:  

Back-to-school campaigns
Idea6: Contests

7. Daily Surprises  

Finally, last but not least, you could create a Daily Surprises experience! What is that? Basically, with a Daily Surprises experience customers can go to your website every day of the week to unlock daily surprises such as discounts, contests, free delivery codes, free items, premium content, and so on.  

This is an amazing interactive back-to-school campaign to get potential customers to go back on your website every day and boost sales because it plays on the mere exposure effect.  

Check out this Easter campaign example:  

Back-to-school campaigns
Idea 7: Daily Surprises

Are your Interactive back-to-school campaigns ready yet?  

If not, you have no time to spare because major retailers are already on the move. Amazon’s Prime Day is going to be on July 12 and 13th and other major retailers such as Walmart are going to offer huge deals on these days too. So, base your strategy around that. Offer deals before, during, and after these days to compete against them! 

If your Interactive back-to-school campaigns aren’t ready yet, take a look at our Marketplace! On Dot.vu’s Interactive Content platform, we have lots of templates that can be customized for your last-minute needs. If you need help to get started, book a meeting with our Interactive Content experts! 


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