How to Rock Sales this Back to School Season

back to school sale educents 207

 

Back to School sale season at Educents

 

We’re hosting a sitewide back to school sale from July 10th – August 27th! Customers will receive an additional 10% off their purchase at this time with the code “BTS”.

 

What you should know:

 

1. Educents is covering the 10% discount during Back to School season, so you will not lose 10%.

2. Back to School sale season is one of our best selling seasons, with the exception of Black Friday/Holidays.

3. Customers must use “BTS” in order to receive the 10% Educents discount

4. Sellers who offer free shipping see higher impressions, page views, and sales.

5. Sellers who offer competitive prices with a lower price point than other sites or sellers who offer an exclusive product to Educents sell more frequently.

6. Cross-promoting your store on social media helps to boost engagement, page views, and long term growth.

 

Free Shipping

 

Sellers who offer free shipping receive higher impressions, page views, and sales. Our customers love free shipping. When you mark your products as “FREE shipping” on Educents, you will receive a tag that says “Free Shipping” that makes your product stand out. Customers can also filter their searches to view all products that offer “Free Shipping”.

For a limited time, we’re offering to update your shipping preferences for you* to FREE shipping during Back to School season. You can offer free shipping during the full Back to School sale season or for a limited time.

Sign up today for a bulk update to free shipping.

*Must have at least 10 products in your account to qualify. If you have under 10 products, you can also update your products to free shipping from your seller dashboard.

Note: When offering Free Shipping, you will not receive a shipping reimbursement for products marked with Free Shipping. Customers do not pay for any shipping fees, therefore there is nothing to reimburse.

 

free shipping search

 

 

Store on Sale

 

As mentioned above, sellers who offer competitive prices on Educents with a lower price point than other sites sell more frequently.

A quick way to reduce your prices for a limited period of time is to put your store on sale. When you place your store on sale, you can choose a specific time period and % amount off. Sellers who put their store on sale are more likely to appear in emails to customers during their sale period.

While Educents will be offering an additional 10% off with the code BTS, you can maximize sales by putting your store on sale as well.

In fact, we know how valuable this is for our customers and sales, so we’ve created a contest for sellers who schedule a store sale during back to school season.

Find out how you can win a featured spot on Educents’ Back to School sale page.

 

store on sale educents

 

Sponsored Search

 

If you’d like to boost your exposure during the Back to School sale season, we do offer an additional opportunity to buy a sponsored search spots. Sponsored search spots earn over 2,5o0 impressions per week.

Sign up to purchase a sponsored search spot today.

 

sponsored search educents

 

 

Cross-promote Educents’ Back to School sale

 

We will be re-sharing posts from sellers all season long!  Cross-promoting helps with overall social media reach, engagement, and your page views.

To make it easy, we’ve created copy and paste the snippets below (don’t forget to replace YOURSTORE with the link to your storefront and YOURPRODUCTLINK with the link to one of your products).

  • Who loves a great price? Check out my store while it is on sale this season and use the code BTS for an additional 10% off: www.educents.com/YOURSTORE #sale @educents
  • Are you ready for #backtoschool? Keep your kids #learning with this great product! Use the code BTS for an additional 10% off www.educents.com/YOURPRODUCTLINK #family @educents
  • Getting #kids ready for #backtoschool is easy with these! And, they are on sale! Use the code BTS for an additional 10% off www.educents.com/YOURSTORE #family @educents
  • Shhh! Kids won’t realize they are #learning with this cool educational #toy!Use the code BTS for an additional 10% off www.educents.com/YOURPRODUCTLINK#parenting @educents

 

How are you preparing for Back to School sale season? Do you have any tips on how to be successful during this time? We’d love to hear from you!

 


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Rocking Back to School Sales

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Win a Featured Spot on Our Back to School Sale Page

backtoschoolwinafeaturedspot2

 

— UPDATE (July 21st, 2017) — CONGRATS TO OUR WINNERS!  Congrats to A Teacher’s Idea, MaestroClassics, I Choose Joy! Publishing, Codakid, and Learning Wrap Ups! Thank you to everyone who participated and scheduled a sale this season. Putting your store on sale will help increase your chances in showing up through email and search! —

 

Would you like to win a spot on our Back to School Sale page?  We are giving YOU a chance to be featured on Educents Back to School Sale page!  Here is how you can participate:

 

  • Schedule your store to be on sale for any or all of our Back to School Sale (July 10 – August 27) or and you will be automatically entered to win a spot on our Back to School Sale page for one week during back to school season.
  • Your store sale must be scheduled no later than Tuesday, July 18th (the sale doesn’t have to begin on that date though).
  • The winners will be notified no later than Friday, July 21. There will be 5 winners (one per week)!
  • Not sure how to put your store on sale? Find out how here.

 

Share on social media

If you share about your store on social media, be sure to tag us!  We will be re-sharing all season long and tagging us will make your posts easier to find. Use the copy and paste snippets below for a quick way to schedule these ahead of time! Here are some graphics already made. Of course, feel free to make your own as well!

 

Social Media Snippets

Copy and paste the snippets below (don’t forget to replace YOURSTORE with the link to your storefront and YOURPRODUCTLINK with the link to one of your products).

  • Who loves a great price? Check out my store while it is on sale this season and use the code BTS for an additional 10% off: www.educents.com/YOURSTORE #sale @educents
  • Are you ready for #backtoschool? Keep your kids #learning with this great product! Use the code BTS for an additional 10% off www.educents.com/YOURPRODUCTLINK #family @educents
  • Getting #kids ready for #backtoschool is easy with these! And, they are on sale! Use the code BTS for an additional 10% off www.educents.com/YOURSTORE #family @educents
  • Shhh! Kids won’t realize they are #learning with this cool educational #toy!Use the code BTS for an additional 10% off www.educents.com/YOURPRODUCTLINK#parenting @educents

 

Are you planning to host a sale?  Let us know what you’re up to!

Check out our other tips for How to Rock Sales this Back to School Season.

 


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Pinterest marketing for beginners

Pinterest marketing is powerful. If you aren’t already using Pinterest to promote your business and products, it is time to get serious about it. With 150 million monthly users, Pinterest is currently driving 5% of all website referral traffic and 93% of people on Pinterest report using the social media platform to plan a future purchase.

Fortunately, Pinterest marketing easy to get started with! You simply create an account, start “inspiration” boards that follow a certain theme, and pin unique content or re-pin previously pinned content to these boards.

Here are some tips for getting started or for growing a current Pinterest account to drive more sales:

  • Create uniquely named boards that would grab the attention of a customer you’d like to attract to your brand and products. Make sure the name is concise and conveys the purpose of the board. Feature an image that does the same.
  • Make sure the images you upload and pin are optimized for Pinterest marketing. The ideal size for an image on Pinterest is 735 px wide by 1,104 px tall. Canva.com provides a great free tool for editing and creating images to fit into these dimensions.

 

Canva for Pinterest images

 

  • Pin and re-pin on a consistent and steady basis. Your pins will see more exposure if you’re posting regularly. You can schedule pins in advance with a tool like Tailwind.
  • Pin varied content. Your Pinterest account shouldn’t just be about your company and your brand, and you shouldn’t just post links to your Educents storefront. Pinning different images and ideas makes for an interesting page and allows you to build your brand’s voice and style.
  • When posting about your products or brand, make sure to include your company name in the description. You can even include prices to help drive conversions.
  • Pinterest is a community. Create group boards with similar businesses and friends, comment on pins that you like, and engage with other pinners and commenters. Use Pinterest’s community features to your advantage.
  • Pay attention to seasons and trends. Pin your shop’s holiday-specific items in the appropriate months and use seasonal changes to guide your boards. You don’t have to change up your store every month based on trends, but this can give you an idea of what shoppers are looking for at a given time.
  • Look at the boards where your products have been pinned and re-pinned. This can help you gauge your customers’ interests and guide future marketing choices.

Shoppers use Pinterest because they can see products in use and can easily imagine how they would fit into their lifestyles. Use this to your advantage to show the value of your products. How do you use your products? How do you imagine people using them? Use this as a guide to inspire your ideal Pinterest boards.

Looking for an example or inspiration? Check out the Educents Pinterest page as a reference.

 

pinterest marketing for beginners

 


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Using search tags and categories for page views

“Categories” and search “Tags” are two of the ways you can sort your products, increase your visibility, and attract the right customer base. Using search tags correctly will help you convert page views into sales. It’s an easy way for shoppers to sort your products and find what works for them.

 

Categories

How can these tools be used effectively? Let’s begin with Categories.

Categories are pre-set labels provided by Educents to assist customers searching for products. When you are setting up a product page, you will be asked to select a subject, product type, and target audience for the product.

 

search categories

 

As you set up the page you will select a category from a drop-down menu. Categories are mandatory. They show up in the left hand side of search as filters for shoppers to select and narrow down their search. Shoppers can also search by categories.

 

Search Tags

Search Tags are free-form labels created by you to sort your products. This is a great way for you to help shoppers find your products by emphasizing the most important details about each product.

Search Tags are not mandatory, but we highly suggest using them. They can be useful in many ways:

    1. Like Categories, Tags are searchable.
    2. Tags make filtering your storefront easier.
    3. Tags do not show up in the left-hand side of a regular search — the filters shoppers see on the left are “Categories”.
    4. Tags are a way to filter within your store. These create unique links that you can use to promote, for example, all of the “lapbooks,” “reading comprehension,” or “early readers” products in your store.
    5. Tags allow you to be more specific or create a specific line of products within your store. A shopper looking at all of your products can narrow down their search to all of your “early readers” products.
    6. Tags should be simple words or phrases, not an additional description of your product. There is a two-word limit per tag.
    7. You can add up to 5 tags per product — choose wisely!
    8. Tags should be accurate and relevant. Use tags that accurately describe your product to make sure shoppers can find it!

 

search tags on Educents

 

When you include search tags, your products are easier to find, categorize, and sort. Using search tags is an easy way to attract Educents users to your store and make your storefront more user-friendly.

Search tags and categories are just one component to increasing your page views.  Read this post to make sure your product descriptions are optimized for search as well.

 

Using categories and search tags
 


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Customer Reviews and Why You Need Them

 

Why you need customer reviews:

 

The widespread use of ecommerce websites for purchasing everything from clothes to educational products has removed a personal element from purchasing goods. In a physical store, customers can ask a sales clerk or a friend for help or advice. Since customers don’t have that option when shopping online, customer reviews are a human, personal touch that shoppers can trust.

More importantly, consumers see customer reviews as highly trustworthy. Customers will consider reviews when deciding to make a purchase. In a 2014 Deloitte consumer insight report, Deloitte found that 81% of consumers read customer reviews and check ratings. These reviews are seen equally as trustworthy as a recommendation from their family or friend.

 

In interviews conducted with Educents customers, responses showed that the majority of customers look at the number of customer reviews and ratings as one of the top criteria for making a purchase decision.

 

How to get customer reviews on Educents:

 

Your product will be reviewed over time on Educents as it is purchased by more customers. A higher number of reviews also ranks your product higher in our search engine algorithms. But this turns into a “chicken before the egg” scenario as it may be difficult to get more sales without reviews.

If your product does not have any customer reviews or has a low number, we recommend:

  1. Promoting your Educents storefront early to get some initial sales and customer reviews on Educents.
  2. Reaching out to your customer base outside of Educents, asking or incentivizing them to leave a review for your product on Educents.
  3. Include a noteworthy testimonial in your product description.
  4. Include a note in your shipment or last page of your downloadable product asking the customer to leave a review.

 

Free email template you can use to ask for customer reviews:

 

Feel free to add your personal touch to the email template below. You can use this template when asking previous customers for their review and by including it as a note in your shipments or on your download files:

 

Thanks so much for purchasing _[product name]_! We hope you enjoy using _[product name]__ and we hope to help you again soon.

We love hearing from our customers. We would really appreciate you taking a moment to review _[product name]__ on Educents. Every review helps us serve more families like you.

Thank you,
__[First Name @ Company Name]__

 

Let us know if you have any tips for getting reviews. We’d love to hear from you!

 

How to get more customer reviews and why you need them.

 


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Updated Shipping Policy

hero-fixedshippingFAQs for the New Shipping Policy

 

Does the “United States” region include Hawaii and Alaska?

  • Currently, the United States region includes the contiguous states as well as military addresses.  If you want to add a different price for Alaska and/or Hawaii, you may do so by clicking on the question “Different rates for Alaska & Hawaii”

Do I have to add prices for Hawaii/Alaska,  Canada, and Everywhere Else?

  • No, you do not.  If you do not ship to these locations, be sure the boxes in front of those regions are unchecked and do not fill in a price for shipping.productedit-shipping-default

Does “shipping as an additional item” mean an additional item sold by me or another seller?

  • Shipping as an additional item means that you are shipping that customer more than one product, which may or may not be the same item.  The “additional item” will be the least expensive item that customer purchased.  Remember, you are in charge of setting the shipping prices.  
    • Examples:
      • If you sell a piano for $500 on our site and it costs you $20 to ship that item to the US, you can now add the shipping cost to that product (rather than needing to adjust the price of the piano to offset any shipping costs that were previously not reimbursed).
      • If you sell a pack of pencils for $2.00 and it costs you $1.00 to ship it, you can now change that price, which will make customers more likely to purchase that product.  
      • If you sell 2 packs of pencils and you know you can fit them in the same box, you could set the shipping price for the first item to be $1.00 and the cost to ship the second item to be $0.50 for a total shipping charge of $1.50.  Again, customers will be happy about saving on shipping.
      • If you sell the pencil and the piano to the same person, you would get the $20 to ship the piano (the most expensive item) and $0.50 to ship the pencils (they would be counted as the second item).
      • If you sell a pack of pencils and another seller sells a box of erasers, you will still be paid your set first item price ($1.00 in the example above) and the other seller will get paid their set first item price.

Does “shipping as an additional item” mean an additional item that is the same SKU or any item sold by me?

  • See answer above

Do I have to enter a price for shipping as an additional item?  What happens if I leave it blank?

  • No, if your shipping rates are the same no matter how many products you ship, you can enter that same number again or leave it blank.  If the additional item spot is left blank, by default, customers will be charged the same price as the first item that was shipped.

Can I make the shipping price for the 2nd item free?

  • Yes!  You can add a shipping price for the first item and then add a zero as the shipping price for additional items.

How do I save my changes?

  • Once you have added or updated your shipping prices, be sure to click the Save & Continue button inside the Shipping tab.  Then, you will need to click the publish button on the right in order for your changes to go into effect. fixedshipping-step1step2

Can I make my shipping policy standard across all of my products?

  • We currently don’t have an option to update your shipping policy across all products at one time. If you are changing your shipping costs for the customer, you will need to update products individually at this time.

When do these changes take place?

  • June 26th, 2017 (however, you will be able to update your prices beginning next week).

If I mark my items with free shipping, do I still have to enter a shipping price?

  • No, however, you have the option to input prices for Alaska & Hawaii since they are not part of the free shipping automatically.

How will customers know my shipping policy?

  • The customer will see the shipping prices within the cart / checkout page.  The plan is to eventually add this to the product pages as well.

Why is Educents making this change?

  • We want to give sellers the ultimate control over their pricing, including their shipping costs.  Now, you can choose exactly how much each customer will pay to receive your item.

If I don’t make the changes myself, what will happen?  

  • US
    • First item: $4.00
    • Additional items: $2.00
  • Hawaii and Alaska
    • First item:  $4.00
    • Additional items:  $2.00
  • Canada
    • First item: $25
    • Additional items: $12.50
  • Everywhere Else
    • First item: $50
    • Additional items: $25

How should I choose a shipping price or do you have recommendations for shipping charges?

  • We know that each seller has different needs, so we know your needs may be different than others.  Therefore, we are leaving it to your discretion to choose a price that works for you and your company.

How will I see how I was paid for shipping?

  • You will be able to see all earnings under the Earnings tab in your dashboard.  For a more complete list of each order and what you will earn for each order, you can download a csv file under the Orders tab.
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May 2017: What’s trending in search?

Trending Searches in May 2017

 

This quarter we’ve been working on building more tools to help you succeed. We heard from a number of sellers that it would be helpful to understand what our customers are searching for.

Our data team put together a report to show us what search terms have a noticeably higher volume in the last month and here are the main takeaways.

 

Money

 

money

 

Summer

 

outdoorplay

 

Arts & Crafts

 

artsandcrafts

 

Fidgeting Toys

 

fidgetingtoys

 

Dinosaur

 

dinosaur

 

World Cultures

 

worldcultures

 

Star Wars

 

starwarsbooks

 

How can you use this information? Take a look at your products. Are there any products you haven’t added to Educents that fit within these categories? We also recommend looking at your current products on Educents. If applicable, are they optimized for these searches?

We hope this information is valuable!  How do you plan on using this data?

 


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May 2017: Product Updates

Welcome to your monthly round up of product updates!

We have some brand new features that will help bring more transparency to customers and help prevent shipping errors.

 

Time to ship on product pages

If you haven’t noticed, we’ve recently released a feature that displays your average shipping time for all shipped products on the product page. The feature is displayed under the product description tab and the shipping tab. This information includes the average time it takes you to fulfill an order. The average time to fulfill an order is from the moment a customer places an order to the moment it’s been marked as “shipped” and the tracking number is uploaded for an order.  Note:  This does not account for time taken for the order to reach the customer since this will vary based on the shipping service you use.

Our primary goal for this feature is to increase transparency for our buyers on average time taken for a product to be shipped.

 

Tracking number validation

We have added an additional check for tracking numbers uploaded to your seller dashboard. All sellers will now receive warning messages for tracking numbers that don’t match the regular expression formats for different shipping service providers such as USPS, UPS, and Fedex. We have also added an additional confirmation step to prevent the issues related to entering incorrect tracking numbers by sellers.

 

Product preview

Sellers creating products and previewing changes will now see an updated view. This preview will reflect the new format/design of product pages that were implemented for customer’s earlier this year. This will help you get an accurate view of what your products look like to customers.

 

Pay after the shipment is completed

Starting with June 2017’s payments, all sellers will be paid only for the orders which are completely fulfilled for the payment period. For example, if you fulfilled 15 orders of the 20 orders that were placed for the month of May, then you will be paid for 15 of these orders by June 15th. The remaining 5 orders will be covered in the following payment period (by July 15th) after they are completely fulfilled in June. No sellers will get paid for partially fulfilled orders.  The order must be completed before a payment is issued.

 

Checkout changes for preventing invalid addresses

We made an improvement on the checkout address validator to push our buyers to enter a correct and standardized address during the checkout process to prevent fulfillment issues for sellers.  We are hoping this change will reduce the number of invalid addresses going to all sellers who ship physical products.

 

4X6 shipping labels

Previously, you could only print letter size shipping labels from the seller dashboard. Based on feedback we received from several sellers, we have now opened it up to offer 4X6 size shipping labels as well. This print option will only be available for the shipping labels you purchase through Educents.

 

Do you have any questions or feedback about May’s product updates? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Please comment and share your thoughts below.

 


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Kicking off Summer Sale

Educents Kicking of Summer Sale

 

Would you like to host a giveaway?  We are giving YOU a chance to give your fans a gift card to use at Educents!  Here is how you can participate:

 

  • Schedule your store to be on sale for any or all of our Kicking of Summer Sale (May 25-30) and you will be automatically entered to win a gift card to give to a member of your audience!
  • Your store sale must be scheduled no later than Monday, May 22 (the sale doesn’t have to begin on that date though).
  • The winners will be notified no later than Wednesday May 24.
  • Not sure how to put your store on sale? Find out how here.

 

Share on social media

If you share about your store on social media, be sure to tag us!  We will be re-tweeting all weekend long and tagging us will make your posts easier to find. Use the copy and paste snippets below for a quick way to schedule these ahead of time!  Here are some graphics already made. Of course, feel free to make your own as well!

 

Social Media Snippets

Copy and paste the snippets below (don’t forget to replace YOURSTORE with the link to your storefront and YOURPRODUCTLINK with the link to one of your products).

 

Are you planning to host a sale?  Let us know what you’re up to!

 


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April 2017: Product Updates

Welcome to your monthly round up of product updates!

We have some brand new features that will help your products get found more easily on Educents and help you get more page views. We’ve also made some improvements for mobile and your shipping needs.

 

Re-marketing emails

We now send automated re-marketing emails!

This is exciting because through an algorithm, we will automatically send an email to members who follow your store, have your items in their carts, have wishlisted your items, past purchasers, and those who have viewed your items in the last 6 months.

We recommend putting your store on sale for at least two weeks to get previously interested customers to come back and make a purchase.  Expert tip: We wouldn’t recommend putting your store on sale more than once a quarter.

 

educentsremarketingemail

 

Search updates

After analyzing the data, our product team found that ~14% of users who searched for products on Educents received no search results. We found that spelling errors and spacing mistakes were the cause for majority of the no search results. Based on this research, we spent our last sprint making search more flexible by accommodating spelling errors, spacing issues, hyphens, etc.

We also added more filtered options by allowing customers to sort by latest products and price. Latest products are defined by new items that have been uploaded in the last 3 months. These products will also receive a badge that says “NEW” and will be searchable by filtering to latest products in search.

 

educentssearch

 

Bug fixes

You may have noticed that we’ve redesigned our seller email notifications. While we received many compliments on the new design, we also heard from our sellers that there was some information missing on their order notifications.

We have fixed this bug and you should now receive customer’s order information in your email notifications.

 

Mobile updates

Mobile traffic is increasing year over year, so it’s important to us to have a mobile friendly site. We always recommend previewing your products on a smartphone or tablet to make sure it’s easy to read on mobile.

We have improved the mobile compatibility for your seller dashboard and we will continuously make updates for mobile devices across the site.

 

Bulk printing & shipping

For anyone who asked us, we now offer the option to print packing slips and shipping labels in bulk through your dashboard. Simply, go to your orders and select multiple orders at one time. From there, you will see “Bulk Actions” where you can Print Packing Slips for the orders you selected.

If you’ve fulfilled your orders through Educents, you will also see the option to Print Shipping Labels under “Bulk Actions”. We hope this saves you more time and paper!

 

Do you have any questions or feedback about April’s product updates? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Please comment and share your thoughts below.

 


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