Chart of the Week: Back to School E-commerce Special

For most students (and their parents), the school year is already well underway, preceded by that annual late summertime ritual: shopping for school supplies. And while families still spend a majority of their back-to-school budget in brick and mortar stores, the most recent figures from Deloitte estimate that Americans spend $27.6 billion on school-related supplies between July and September, making it the second busiest shopping season besides the holiday rush. For e-commerce brands, owning even a fraction of that market is a huge boon. So which family-friendly online retailers are attracting the highest-income shoppers?

Which E-Commerce Sites Attract the Most Affluent Shoppers?

Verto Analytics looked at weekly user numbers for Walmart, Kohl’s, and Target’s online stores during July and August, 2018, and tracked weekly visitors (among U.S. adults, ages 18 and above). According to Verto Watch data, each brand’s audience displayed different shopping behaviors throughout the summer, based on household income. Overall, higher-income shoppers – perhaps those least swayed by online sales or product scarcity – waited until the last minute: users from households in this income bracket (those earning $100,000 or more per year) did not show a significant uptick (as indicated by the arrows below) in weekly visits to any of the three retailers we examined until the very end of August. User numbers for Kohl’s and Target show this effect in particular.

Shoppers from lower-income households showed more distinctive behaviors, perhaps influenced by seasonal sales and other time-based discounts and incentives to shop during a particular day or week. For example, the week of July 30 proved to be an especially popular shopping period for users from lower-income households (those earning $40,000 or less per year, a bracket that includes many college students): weekly user numbers peaked at Walmart Kohl’s, and Target during this time. Shoppers from middle-income households (those earning between $40,000-$100,000 per year) took a more gradual approach, doing most of their online shopping over the course of July, as shown by increased weekly user numbers at individual online retailers over the course of that month. Meanwhile, users from higher-income households only spiked at the very end of August.

This Chart of the Week was created using Verto Watch. Interested in the latest insights on consumer behavior? Sign up for our newsletter.