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Study: Prime Day to give back-to-school spending a big boost

Retailers are jumping onboard Amazon’s upcoming Prime Day event to kick off their back-to-school shopping season.

Brick-and-mortar retailers were able to jump-start their back-to-school shopping season by nearly a month due to Prime Day shopping in 2017, according to “The 2018 Back to School Spend Report,” a study from Cardlytics. This year, the shopping extravaganza will run 36 hours, starting at noon EST on July 16, through July 17.

Traditional retailers that operate an online channel executed earlier back-to-school campaigns in 2017 to capture Prime Day wallet share. While their back-to-school spending share stayed flat, this was an improvement from experiencing decreases in previous years, according to the study.

Prime Day back-to-school shoppers also tend to be big spenders across all channels, especially compared to consumers who don’t take advantage of the shopping holiday. Last year, 17% of Prime Day customers spent more in stores, 16% spent more on traditional retailers’ e-commerce sites, and 23% spent more with online-only retailers.

Companies also consider Prime Day consumers to be more valuable than customers who don't shop during Prime Day — especially during the week following the event. Last year, 34.5% of customers shopped with online retailers compared to 10.5% of non-Prime Day shoppers. These customers also spent more on traditional retailer websites, with 6% making purchases vs. 5%.

Not all early bird shoppers wait for Prime Day to fill their online carts, however. Online customers often fill their basket throughout the year and hold off on actually making a purchase until a major sale, a move that leads to bigger online baskets this time of year, the study revealed.

“While it may be tempting to hold off on promotions until the winter holidays, it’s important for merchants to stay top-of-mind all year round to strengthen brand loyalty,” the study said. “Launch teaser campaigns of a major back-to-school sales event. This will encourage back-to-school shoppers to get a head start on viewing your products and filling their online carts.”
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