Search And Ecommerce Taking A Larger Piece Of Back-To-School

This year’s back-to-school ecommerce sales will likely exceed those in 2017, but not for in-store purchases. It appears that searches and sales will take a bigger piece of back-to-school sales.

As part of Adobe’s Digital Dollar report released in July, the company estimates that between July and September 2018, U.S. back-to-school shopping will generate $57.79 billion in online revenue.

Overall, numbers from a joint study by National Retail Federation (NFR) and Prosper Insights and Analytics estimates spending for kindergarten through grade 12 and college at $82.8 billion -- not quite as high as last year’s $83.6 billion.

Of the 7,320 consumers surveyed in the NRF study, 49% said they would buy from online retailers, 40% from department stores, 35% from discount stores, 31% from office supply stores, and 30% from college stores.

Criteo, which personalizes retargeting ads for retailers, analyzed back-to-school (BTS) sales between July and August 2017 versus June-July 2017 to identify some of the trends taking place in 2018. The results showed that in the first days of August, the focus should turn to last-minute shoppers and plan for the surge of undergrad and graduate students that find retailers later in the summer months.



Backpacks, lunch boxes, notebooks, crayons, pens, and pencils are must-haves. Searches during mid-July and mid-August are also up for book bags by 733%, pencils by 575%, and lunchboxes by 244%.

Numbers from Criteo also show that during the August to September furniture sales for room dividers rose 916%, area rug sales rose 416%, and even Swiffer sales rose 16%.

During this time period, searches for related items show a jump over July numbers. Audio rose 122%, and video game consoles accessories rose 24%. And don’t forget the pump shoes for women. Searches for these rose 22%.

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