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Amazon see Back-to-School surge in late July

In the first two weeks of the Back-to-School (BtS) shopping season, Amazon’s sales of school supplies have grown by 35% year-on-year, according to One Click Retail data.

Its sales of Laptops and Accessories have already earned more than $25m, Tablet sales have nearly doubled (98% growth) and Youth Apparel is up by 61% over the same two weeks in 2016.

In Q3 2016, Amazon drove 82% of the total US e-commerce growth, partly due to Prime Day, but also because of its BtS strength.

In 2016, early BtS sales at Amazon grew 9% and went on to see 20% growth for the whole BtS season. If those proportions were repeated this time, the e-tail giant’s 35% growth so far could mean 80% growth by season-end.

Of course, the 35% could also just mean consumers are buying earlier than ever this year. But either way, it seems BtS is now big news for Amazon.

Looking at the e-tailer’s sales last year and this year’s BtS season in detail, in Apparel, it grew 25% in 2016 to $3.4bn. Shoes grew even faster with a 35% surge to $1.6bn, according to data from One Click Retail.

In 2017, the last two weeks of July have seen Youth Apparel surging 61% on the site with Backpacks up 24%, both categories seeing triple growth year-on-year.

In Office Products, Amazon sales grew 25% last year to over $2bn. Accounting for more than 20% of total US sales of office products, Amazon’s double-digit growth continues into BtS 2017. Tablet sales grew by 98%, as mentioned, in the first two weeks of the season, while Laptop Accessories rose by 45%, Laptops by 8% and Calculators by 6%.

Spencer Millerberg, One Click Retail CEO, said: “While this early indication doesn’t necessarily predict the more sales-heavy remainder of back-to-school season, it does show early velocity.” He said we’re seeing a picture of parents shopping online at home for BtS rather than stopping by the store on the way home.

The company used a combination of website indexing, machine learning and proprietary software to estimate weekly online sales figures at the SKU level on Amazon.

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