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Preparing for Back to School Season on Amazon
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
If you sell products in any Amazon categories containing school supplies, it is never too early to start thinking about back to school sales and shaping your strategy so your inventory is in a stable position before the influx of sales between July and September.
Below are typical back to school products by school audience. Familiarize yourself with these products, as there is a chance you may be selling items that are popular during back to school season without even knowing it:
- Elementary school: arts and crafts, backpacks, toys, lunch boxes, children’s apparel and footwear, uniforms, glue, scissors
- Middle school: pre-teen fashion and athletic apparel, backpacks, spiral notebooks, binders, other school supplies
- High school: teen apparel, sports equipment, computers, school supplies, calculators, USB drives, and tablets
- College: college gear, laptops, portable printers, posters, textbooks, and dorm decorations and essentials such as twin XL bedding, bath towels, toiletries, and more
According to the National Retail Federation, total spending for K-12 schools and college combined reached nearly $83 billion in 2018. Additionally, consumers spend more on back to school — including college — than consumers spend on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day combined. This data indicates that there is significant potential for your Amazon store to generate incremental profits leading up to and during back to school season.
Here are several ways you can capitalize on the back to school selling opportunity on Amazon:
- Monitor any sales trends and top sellers, both your own from back to school season last year and any trends you are seeing across other e-commerce platforms or in Big Box retail stores.
- Update your Sponsored Product ad campaigns to promote your school supplies or school-related products to capture the attention of students and their parents. Include specific headlines in your Sponsored Brands campaigns that demonstrate why your items are relevant during BTS season.
- Bundle products together that make sense to be purchased together as a cohesive unit, creating a unique, in-demand product. Review what school supply kits are already being sold on Amazon and monitor sales history for performance metrics.
- Be prepared for a sudden increase in orders and check your seller account daily during peak back to school season. This will ensure that your items are shipped on time.
- If you sell textbooks, make sure each one is listed under the correct ISBN and the condition is described accurately.
- Allow for multiple shipping options. According to Amazon, during BTS season 2018, more than 25% of textbook buyers requested expedited shipping. If a shopper selects that shipping option, be sure to honor that and check the shipping speed requested for each order.
Back to school season is one area of online retail — of many— that Amazon has drastically disrupted. With Amazon Prime Day typically taking place in mid-July, Amazon is playing an active role in pushing up the shopping season by nearly a month. To capitalize on the sales from consumers who are doing their back to school shopping earlier, be sure to apply for Prime Day Lightning Deals, execute back to school ad campaigns earlier than you usually would, and ensure inventory of your top selling BTS items.