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Where are Back-to-School Shoppers Spending?

6 minute read

Happy Prime Day, A.K.A. the unofficial kickoff to the back-to-school season.

To help advertisers make the most of the second-largest shopping season of the year, we’ve analyzed $2.4 trillion in purchase data through our banking partners to identify five key spend trends. Here’s a closer look at trend #1:

Back-To-School Spend Grows Online, but the Majority Still Occurs In-Store

From 2017-2018, total back-to-school spend grew 2.5% compared to the previous year, as more customers went online versus in-store to check off their school supply lists.

While purely eCommerce retailers like Amazon were the fastest-growing channel, traditional Brick & Mortars helped offset the decline in spend at their physical stores by driving sales online. Their online and mobile properties—what we call Brick&Mortar.coms—saw a 0.3 increase in share points year-over-year.

Worth noting, physical stores still account for the large majority (79%) of actual back-to-school spend, although their share of that spend is decreasing.

B2S Share of Spend by Channel

Actionable Tip

Brick & Mortar retailers with a strong online presence should consider offering a ship-to-store option during the back-to-school season. Once the customer is in store to pick up their online order, they may often be inspired to do some additional shopping.

Want more Back-to-School Insights?

Check out more key spend trends here and stay tuned for our next blog post tomorrow, when we’ll dig deeper into spend trend #2: Early Sales Give Online-Only Retailers an Edge on Back-to-School.

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