TECHNOLOGY

Study: Prime Day to give back-to-school spending a big boost

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Retailers are jumping onboard Amazon’s upcoming Prime Day event to kick off their back-to-school shopping season.

Brick-and-mortar retailers were able to jump-start their back-to-school shopping season by nearly a month due to Prime Day shopping in 2017, according to “The 2018 Back to School Spend Report,” a study from Cardlytics. This year, the shopping extravaganza will run 36 hours, starting at noon EST on July 16, through July 17.

Traditional retailers that operate an online channel executed earlier back-to-school campaigns in 2017 to capture Prime Day wallet share. While their back-to-school spending share stayed flat, this was an improvement from experiencing decreases in previous years, according to the study.

Prime Day back-to-school shoppers also tend to be big spenders across all channels, especially compared to consumers who don’t take advantage of the shopping holiday. Last year, 17% of Prime Day customers spent more in stores, 16% spent more on traditional retailers’ e-commerce sites, and 23% spent more with online-only retailers.

Companies also consider Prime Day consumers to be more valuable than customers who don’t shop during Prime Day — especially during the week following the event. Last year, 34.5% of customers shopped with online retailers compared to 10.5% of non-Prime Day shoppers. These customers also spent more on traditional retailer websites, with 6% making purchases vs. 5%.

Not all early bird shoppers wait for Prime Day to fill their online carts, however. Online customers often fill their basket throughout the year and hold off on actually making a purchase until a major sale, a move that leads to bigger online baskets this time of year, the study revealed.

“While it may be tempting to hold off on promotions until the winter holidays, it’s important for merchants to stay top-of-mind all year round to strengthen brand loyalty,” the study said. “Launch teaser campaigns of a major back-to-school sales event. This will encourage back-to-school shoppers to get a head start on viewing your products and filling their online carts.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon reportedly making unlikely move to sell toys

BY CSA Staff

Amazon will be going old-school this holiday season as it looks to win over former Toys “R” Us customers.

Taking a page from the now-defunct toy chain and from other traditional retailers, the online giant will print a toy catalog for the upcoming holiday season, Bloomberg reported. The catalog will be mailed to shoppers’ homes and also be available at Whole Foods Market stores.

This is not Amazon’s first try at a holiday toy guide. In 2007, the company published an online toy list that highlighted the most in-demand toys that season.

To read more, click here.

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JDA Software ramps up AI capabilities with acquisition

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A new acquisition will enable JDA Software to bolster its supply chain solution offering with artificial intelligence (AI).

JDA will acquire Blue Yonder, a provider of AI solutions for the retail industry. The deal is expected to close in August, subject to competition agency approval.

Blue Yonder’s AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms enable retail companies to transform their core processes, and automate complex decisions that deliver higher profits and customer value. The company’s data science capabilities will allow JDA to more quickly embed new levels of actionable intelligence across all areas of its SaaS solution roadmap, which encompasses retail/supply chain planning, execution labor management and omnichannel delivery.

The transaction also complements JDA’s strategy of developing cognitive and connected solutions to power digital transformations for companies seeking to create a competitive advantage for their supply chains. The acquisition will also enable Blue Yonder to accelerate its growth, invest more resources to development and deliver even more innovation to customers at scale to help deliver on JDA’s vision for an autonomous supply chain.

“Major digital transformation of supply chains is underway and the ability to quickly access intelligent, actionable data and insights will determine the future winners and losers,” said JDA CEO Girish Rishi. “JDA’s end-to-end solution portfolio, coupled with Blue Yonder’s leading AI/ML capabilities, will enable customers to deliver more autonomous, profitable business decisions throughout their extended supply chains, unlocking the full business impact of intelligent data.”

Blue Yonder’s founder, Dr. Michael Feindt, will provide ongoing thought and innovation leadership to both companies. The company’s CEO Uwe Weiss will join JDA’s operating committee.

“With JDA’s global scope and reach, we have a terrific opportunity to drive the use of our AI solutions throughout the world’s largest and most complex supply chains, and to support companies in driving AI innovation and automated decisions in complex supply chains,” said Weiss.

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