With back-to-school promotional activity already heating up, back-to-school shoppers say they think they’ll find the best value in brick-and-mortar stores, with 89% saying they plan on visiting stores in person.
Despite the impact of Amazon Prime Day, new research from the International Council of Shopping Centers says consumers are committed to deals, with 90% saying sales and promotions influence what they buy and how much they spend, and 40% planning to hold off on shopping until they see sales prices advertised.
“Back-to-school is one of the shopping seasons where we really find people looking for specific items at the best price,” says Tom McGee, president and CEO of the trade group, in its announcement about the results. “Consumers are more informed than ever and they research prices and products prior to making a purchase, so it isn’t surprising that so many shoppers are waiting for sales and discounts before buying their back-to-school items.”
Omnichannel options are still a major part of the process, with 81% using a mobile device as part of the shopping journey, and 30% of consumers planning to use retailers’ click-and-collect options. (ICSC polled some 1,000 adults in the U.S. for the survey.)
And Market Track, a Chicago-based company that monitors traffic trends at malls and shopping centers, believes Amazon Prime Day may have reshaped the timing of back-to-school shopping in physical stores.
Unlike holiday shopping, with retailer promotions closely hewing to calendar days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. “Because it is such a lengthy, balanced shopping season, it can be difficult to drive urgency among shoppers,” says Ryne Misso, Market Track’s director of marketing, in its analysis. “However, a byproduct of Amazon’s Prime Day is the creation of an early-season, single day BTS shopping event.” Intentionally or not, he says Amazon may have kicked the season into high gear with one-day deals aimed at the back-to-school crowd.
Market Track predicts that 53% of consumers will do most of their shopping this year at big-box retailers, like Walmart and Target.