Now in its fifth year, Amazon Prime Day continues to have a significant impact on back-to-school shopping. And according to new research from Kelton Global on behalf of RetailMeNot, big opportunities await retailers other than Amazon.
Prime Day—when Amazon offers a plethora of deals to shoppers with a Prime account—has effectively moved the start of the back-to-school shopping season to July. (Amazon hasn't set the date for Prime Day 2019 yet, but last year's edition started on July 16.) In fact, 84% of retailers believe that the period around Prime Day is the single most important time for driving online sales during the entire back-to-school season.
Prime Day Competition Heats Up
Retailer assessment of the season seems on par with consumer interest. Over 3 in 5 parents (64%) plan to shop Amazon on Prime Day, spending about $162. And 89% of Prime Day shoppers overall will be making at least one back-to-school purchase.
Parents who will be back-to-school shopping through Amazon plan to complete an average of 35% of their total school shopping through the online retail giant. (Overall, parents anticipate spending an average of $507 on back-to-school shopping this year.)
However, sales during this time frame are also a huge opportunity for other retailers to compete with Amazon. More and more retailers are taking advantage of the increased online traffic before, during and after Prime Day to offer their own sales. Just over two-thirds (67%) of those shopping through Amazon on its biggest day will also be shopping for back-to-school items from other online retailers. In fact, parents will shop at an average of 11 different retailers during Prime Day sales.
Shoppers Want More Deals, More Time
Prime Day seems to have permanently changed consumers' back-to-school shopping habits, but they still see ways for Amazon to improve the event. Nearly all (95%) back-to-school shoppers who participated in Prime Day last year and plan to this year are hoping for a better shopping experience.
They have some specific ideas on what they'd like to see Amazon change—ideas that can also help other retailers shape their own Prime Day plans:
· 64% want better deals
· 58% want a better selection
· 54% want more time to take advantage of deals
The desire for deals mirrors the overall findings of the RetailMeNot survey on both shoppers’ and retailers' back-to-school expectations. Over 9 in 10 (92%) parents actively seek out deals, and 71% say they will wait to buy until they find a deal. Meanwhile, 78% of retailers say they will offer more back-to-school discounts this year.
Shoppers could also get their wish on having more time to take advantage of deals. Since Prime Day began in 2015, Amazon has extended the event from a single day to a day and a half. So there's a possibility that Prime Day will expand again this year. Based on past years, we can also expect other retailers to launch their own promotions before Prime Day and extend them after the Amazon event to take advantage of shoppers' excitement.
For more insights on Prime Day, as well as retailers' and shoppers' overall plans ahead of the 2019 back-to-school season, view the full results of the RetailMeNot survey.