When Does Back-to-School Shopping Happen?

July 16, 2019 Posted by - Chief Marketing Officer

We’re in the final hours of Prime Day—the perfect backdrop as we take a closer look at trend #2 in our series of key back-to-school spend trends:

Early Sales Give Online-Only Retailers an Edge on Back-to-School

Since the inaugural Prime Day in 2015, Amazon has continued to set the pace for when back-to-school shopping kicks off. Last year, online retailers’ sales peaked the week of Amazon Prime Day for the fourth year in a row. Brick & Mortars and their online properties—what we call Brick&Mortar.coms—followed suit, with sales peaking two weeks later.

In this case, the early bird gets the worm – Prime Day is pulling back-to-school spend forward and laying the foundation for Online-Only retailers’ YOY share growth. If traditional retailers want to recapture share of wallet, they’ll have to get in front of customers earlier in the season while they’re beginning to knock out their shopping lists online. This week, many retailers are already taking advantage of the “Prime Day effect” with their own early sales.

B2S Seasonality Index by Channel

Actionable Tip:

Prime Day may kick off the season, but there’s still time to capture the August sales spike traditionally seen by Brick & Mortar stores and their online sites. For retailers planning to continue their sales in the coming weeks, consider launching teaser campaigns. This will encourage shoppers to start scoping out your products and filling their online shopping carts so they are ready to check out as soon as the sale hits.

Want more Back-to-School Insights?

Check out more key spend trends based on our analysis of $2.4 trillion in purchase data across our banking partners and stay tuned for our next blog post on Friday, where we’ll dig deeper into spend trend #3: Convenience Reigns Supreme During Back-to-School.