Target And Walmart Squeak Past Amazon For College Bound

When it comes to shopping for back-to-school supplies, college students are leaning more towards Target and Walmart than Amazon for their needs, according to Retail Dive.

A $46 billion season of the school year, back-to-college can be quite lucrative for retailers, according to research from Deloitte cited in the article. The report shows gathering supplies for the college school year nearly doubles from the $27 billion spent for both elementary and high school shopping.

Research from Branding Brand noted 64 percent of shoppers in the 18 to 24 age range overwhelmingly chose Target and Walmart over Amazon for their back-to-school needs. While the data showed 79 percent of these consumers will eventually buy school items later in the year on Amazon, it appears the eCommerce giant is not the clear winner for the back-to-college restock.

Why are college-age students owning a majority of the back-to-school spending?

Simply put, college students buy a wider variety of supplies than those in primary school, according to Deloitte. In addition to notebooks and pens, the college arena requires furniture and electronics. Students heading off to college are getting in on the game with 57 percent contributing their own money to buying school supplies. Within those back-to-college dollars spent, 68 percent of parents’ spending is heavily influenced by their offspring.

Deloitte’s vice chairman and U.S. retail wholesale and distribution practice leader, Ron Sides, shared his thoughts on the back-to-school shopping trends.

“Back-to-college shopping is prime time for retailers to create fans that can last a decade or more,” said Sides. “The students appear to have the most influence on what the family buys for back-to-college, so it makes sense for brands to create those loyalists today, and continue to see the payoff beyond the college years.”



The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.

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