As the Australian summer draws to a close, the anticipation of a new school year begins to sweep across the nation.

For retailers, the Back-to-School season presents a golden opportunity to engage with customers and boost sales.

In 2024, strategic storytelling will be a key driver in capturing the attention of consumers and fostering a connection that goes beyond transactions and the National Retail Association outlines essential strategies for retailers to prepare their stores for the Back-to-School rush and create a memorable shopping experience.


  1. Understand Your Audience:
    The Back-to-School season spans a wide demographic range, from parents and students to teachers. Tailor your brand to resonate with these groups. Highlight the aspects of your products and services that cater to their specific needs and preferences. Whether it’s durable backpacks, stylish uniforms, or tech-savvy gadgets, knowing your audience allows you to speak directly to their needs.


  1. Emphasise Value and Convenience:
    Australian parents are often looking for value for money and convenience when shopping for Back-to-School essentials. Clearly communicate the value of your products, whether it’s through competitive pricing, bundled deals, or exclusive offers. Highlight any convenient services, such as online ordering, in-store pickups, or extended shopping hours. Taking on the initiative of making their lives easier during this hectic period can set your brand apart from the competition.


  1. Create Compelling Visuals and Displays:
    Creating an appealing in-store or online environment is crucial. Develop eye-catching displays that showcase your Back-to-School products. Consider creating themed sections that cater to different age groups or academic needs.


  1. Leverage Social Media and Digital Platforms:
    In the digital age, social media is a powerful tool for brands. Develop a cohesive Back-to-School campaign across various platforms, integrating visuals, videos, and user-generated content. Encourage customers to share their Back-to-School shopping experiences with branded hashtags. Engage with your audience through interactive content, polls, and behind-the-scenes glimpses to build excitement and anticipation.


  1. Highlight Sustainability and Community Engagement:
    As environmental consciousness continues to grow, consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable and socially responsible brands. Incorporate elements of sustainability into your Back-to-School story, whether it’s through eco-friendly products, packaging, or initiatives that support local communities. Communicate your commitment to making a positive impact, and showcase any community engagement or charity partnerships your brand participates in.


  1. Tell Success Stories and Testimonials:
    Build trust with your customers by sharing success stories and testimonials from previous Back-to-School seasons. Feature real experiences from parents, students, and teachers who found value in your products or services. Authenticity resonates with consumers and can contribute to a positive brand image.


In 2024, the Back-to-School rush in Australia is not just a transactional period but an opportunity for retailers to build trusting connections with their customers.

By having compelling marketing and sales initiatives that understands and highlights value and convenience, leveraging digital platforms, highlighting sustainability, and sharing testimonials, retailers can create a Back-to-School experience that goes beyond just this summer semester.

The National Retail Association represents more than 60,000 stores across Australia. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.

For more information, contact the National Retail Association marketing department on

Article written by Dani Giardina