TECHNOLOGY

Amazon’s back-to-school sales start strong

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Based on the momentum of early back-to-school shoppers, Amazon is on pace to hit a record 80% sales growth for the season.

The online giant's school supplies sales have grown by 35% year-over-year in the first two weeks of the back-to-school shopping season, according to One Click Retail. Early back-to-school shopping only accounted for 9% of sales in 2016.

Last year, Amazon’s back-to-school sales hit a record 20% growth over the entire season. This year, the online giant has a total growth potential of over 80% for back-to-school 2017.

According to One Click Retail’s “Office Product” report, Amazon's sales of office products grew by 25% to reach over $2 billion in 2016, while remaining brick and mortar U.S. sales grew by only 1%. Accounting for more than 20% of total U.S. sales of office products, Amazon's double-digit growth continues into back-to-school 2017.

Sales of laptops and accessories have already earned more than $25 million. Tablet sales have nearly doubled (98% growth) and youth apparel is up by 61% over the same two weeks in 2016. Laptop accessories are up by 45%; laptops by 8% and calculators by 6%.

The online giant’s apparel sales also grew by 25% in 2016 to a value of $3.4 billion. Shoes grew more rapidly, with growth of 35% — bringing the company’s shoe sales to $1.6 billion for 2016, according to reports from One Click Retail.

Both the apparel and shoes product groups see a predictable annual shift in shopping habits during back-to-school, with parents turning to Amazon to purchase shoes and clothing for their school-aged children.

"While this early indication doesn't necessarily predict the more sales-heavy remainder of 'Back-to-School' season, it does show early velocity,” said Spencer Millerberg, One Click Retail CEO. “It paints a picture that more parents are multi-tasking on Amazon during 'back-to-school night' for those supplies vs. stopping by the store on the way home."

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