The 2014 back-to-school shopping craze is approaching quickly and promising to be bigger than ever. According to eMarketer, $50 billion will be spent online to purchase school & office supplies, consumer electronics, and apparel in a 10-week period. The rush has already started, but there’s plenty of time left: 65% of consumers won’t start their back-to-school shopping until the end of July. Based on our experience with thousands of advertisers in retail and e-Commerce over the years, we’ve compiled some expert tips for executing a killer back-to-school cross-platform retargeting campaign to help you achieve a profitable August this year.

Maximize your cross-platform reach

Get in front of your users wherever they’re researching products or actively engaging online. Whether your audience reads top news sites or hangs out on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you get targeted messaging in front of them with a cross-platform campaign tapping into as many inventory sources as possible.

New mobile ad units have made running high ROI cross-device retargeting campaigns easier than ever. With buyers increasingly turning to mobile for comparison shopping, it just makes sense to maximize your targeting on mobile.

Segmentation and targeting

Reaching users at scale — and breaking through the clutter — is crucial during this time of year. If you want to run a successful performance-driven campaign, you need the right segmentation and targeting strategy. Implement longer cookie durations to increase the size of your cookie pools and the reach of your campaigns. Maximize exposure to your most valuable prospects by making sure your CPM bids and ad frequency caps are competitive with higher demand for impressions. This will keep your brand top-of-mind in an environment where your top competitors are investing to win your customers’ business.

Businesses also tend to overlook the opportunity to reach past customers to drive incremental sales through CRM targeting. We’ve seen top advertisers targeting converted users from last year with a customer loyalty campaign that works cohesively with their email program. Since these users have already purchased from the brand, they’re a unique and highly valuable audience to target for repeat sales.

Ad creative and messaging

A refresh in creative is key to grabbing attention from prospective customers during the back-to-school season. Use a strong call to action and capitalize on consumer urgency to find the best deals. Incentive-driven messaging works very well this time of year, so highlight free shipping, money back guarantees, and volume discounts.

If your brand offers a range of products and SKUs, AdRoll’s advanced dynamic ad solution may be the right tactic to show off your catalog. Launch dynamic ads across the web and Facebook to show the user the specific product they were previously viewing—or dynamically showcase top-selling and recommended products.

And don’t underestimate the importance of continuity between your ads and landing pages. Drive high conversion rates by designing landing pages to match the look and feel of the ad that brought the user to your site.

There’s still time to whip your retargeting program into high gear. Back-to-school season is a huge opportunity to maximize sales, bring in new customers, and drive repeat business. For more tips on staying ahead of the competition this season, contact your account manager or for more great ideas and custom strategies for your brand.