The BTS Retailer Race

Back-to-school is one of the most important seasons for retailers, and this year is no different. Historically, mass retailers like Walmart have captured the most shopper traffic with 64% of shoppers indicating it’s their primary BTS shopping destination according to last year’s back-to-school edition of The Checkout. While mass will likely maintain its position as number one channel this year, it appears that others channels are gaining traction during this season.

For example, Amazon is reporting 35% year-over-year growth in just the first two weeks of the season. The retailer anticipates growth as high as 80% this season, a huge jump compared to last season’s sales growth of 20%. Beyond online, other non-traditional channels like drug and dollar are also upping their BTS game. Walgreens introduced the Me to We program this year that allows shoppers to purchase the for-profit’s school supplies and then track the impact they are making by entering an on-pack code on a dedicated website. While Dollar General created a dedicated BTS section of their website that features deals and ideas on things including lunch boxes, fashion, and supplies.

With so many options for where to shop for BTS and so much retailer support, it can be hard for today’s busy family to choose where to shop. Will shoppers stay true to mass or we will begin to see shoppers start to spread their spending across various channels? It may depend on the value the retailer brings to shoppers. Are they offering convenience like Amazon? Support like Walgreens or value like Dollar General? With so many options and the high paced lives of today’s shoppers its very likely shoppers may seek out different retailers for different BTS needs.

Image Source: YouTube Walgreens video