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Already? Amazon Launches Back-to-School Shopping Portals


Amazon logoIt’s not even July, yet Amazon is already anticipating the back-to-school shopping season. Today, it launched Back to School and Off to College stores.

It used today’s announcement to promote offerings such as Alexa, the Echo Dot Kids Edition, and Prime Wardrobe – and its textbook rental and trade-in programs.

It also pitched its Whole Foods Market grocery stores as a source of “weekday breakfasts, school lunchboxes, after school snacking, and family meal time,” and noted that “Prime members enjoy an additional 10 percent off of hundreds of items already on sale, plus deep discounts on select popular items,” with “delivery in as little as an hour from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now in 19 cities (and more to come in 2018).”

Press release follows:

Amazon today launched its Back to School and Off to College stores where parents, students, and educators can discover classroom supplies and dorm room essentials at the lowest prices. From superhero backpacks and sequin pencil pouches to the latest adidas footwear and perfect first-day-of-school outfit, Amazon has everything students need to feel confident heading back to class. Customers can find compelling deals throughout the back-to-school shopping season from Crayola, GoPro, BIC, Sharpie, Osmo, Keurig, Calvin Klein, Elmer’s, Acer, Bose and more, as well as enjoy free shipping on millions of items across Amazon.com. A curated selection of everything from textbooks and electronics to apparel and accessories is available now at www.amazon.com/backtoschool and www.amazon.com/offtocollege, as well as via the Amazon App and any Echo device.

“Embarking on a new school year is a significant milestone for the entire family, whether customers are preparing to send their little one off to kindergarten or seeing their recent high school graduate gear up for life on campus, Amazon has everything parents and students need to stay ahead of the class and stand out in a crowd,” said Steve Downer, Director of Consumer Electronics at Amazon. “Our goal is to help customers save precious time during the beautiful summer months by offering a one-stop shop where they can easily find everything they need for the upcoming school year, such as a pair of stylish shoes that can endure a semester’s worth of campus treks or flexible seating options for students whose teachers want to create more movement in the classroom.”

Back to School Store
Available at www.amazon.com/backtoschool, Amazon’s redesigned Back to School store provides an intuitive and seamless shopping experience that allows customers to add must-haves to their shopping cart without navigating between product pages. Parents can shop school list essentials by grade or simply browse curated products within the most shopped-for categories, including School Supplies; Clothing, Shoes & Accessories; Electronics; Everyday Essentials; Toys & Games; and Deals. In addition, educators have their own dedicated shop where they can discover classroom necessities, including everything from desks to pencil sharpeners on Amazon Business.

New this year, teens 13 through 17 years old can get their own Amazon login under their parent’s account and shop independently using the Amazon App. Parents can either approve all orders or set pre-approved spending limits, providing their teens with a customized level of autonomy to browse, shop, and make their favorite school purchases. Parents who have a Prime membership can share select benefits with their teen at no additional cost, including Free Two-Day Shipping, Prime Video and Twitch Prime. To learn more, visit www.amazon.com/forteens. To shop, visit www.amazon.com/teenshop.

Parents, students, and teachers can start shopping the latest back-to-school trends, including fall fashion items like the Converse Kids’ Chuck Taylor All Star Canvas High Top Sneaker, Rockland Jr. My First Backpack, STATE Girls’ Downtown Kane Backpack, Spotted Zebra Boys’ Fleece Zip-up Hoodie, Kid Nation Girls’ Long Sleeve Rainbow Pullover Sweater, and adidas Boys’ Athletic Pullover Hoodie; playful classroom supplies such as the Blue Sky 2018-2019 Academic Year Weekly & Monthly Planner, Avery Despicable Me Durable Binders, Llama Skip Hop Zoo Lunchies, KLUTZ BFF Backpack Charms, and Crayola Silly Scents Twistables Crayons; and colorful learning essentials like Elmer’s Glow-in-the-Dark Glue, Crayola Back to School Supplies Set, Canon IVY Bluetooth Mini Photo Printer in Rose Gold, and Cosmic Color Sharpie Permanent Markers. Customers looking for further inspiration can explore picks from parents and teachers, available at www.amazon.com/parentteacherpicks.

Off to College Store
Available at www.amazon.com/offtocollege, Amazon’s new Off to College store serves as a one-stop shop where parents and students can easily access everything they need for life on campus. From laptops and textbooks to bedding and small kitchen appliances, Amazon has all the dorm room décor, class essentials, and late-night snacks. Parents, students, and educators can browse popular categories, including College Essentials; Textbooks; Clothing, Shoes & Accessories; Electronics; Study Supplies; Home; and Deals. Higher education institutions can enjoy a dedicated shop that makes it easy to find everything from lab equipment and supplies to common books for first year reads, academic journals and items for trade or nursing schools on Amazon Business. College students can easily ship millions of items and pick up their orders at a secure Amazon pickup location on or near campus. To find a pickup location visit www.amazon.com/ulp.

For college students looking for a great deal on campus, Prime Student is a Prime membership designed specifically for students and offers an unparalleled combination of shopping and entertainment all in one place. Students of two- and four-year colleges can receive exclusive discounts on a wide selection of college essentials, access thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, stream more than two million songs with Prime Music, enjoy a selection of free games and in-game loot with Twitch Prime, along with fast, free shipping on tens of thousands of textbooks and millions of other Prime-eligible items. The cost of Prime Student is half the cost, or 50 percent off. Signing up is simple – students can provide their .edu email address and enjoy a six-month trial to start their membership. To learn more, visit www.amazon.com/joinstudent.

Students can purchase and rent textbooks on Amazon and save up to 90 percent, with the option to extend the rental period or purchase the book. Students who have textbooks they no longer need can sell them back for Amazon.com Gift Card value via Amazon’s Trade-In program. In addition to textbooks, students can trade in other eligible items for Amazon.com Gift Card value, including video games, Kindle E-readers, books, and more.

Parents, students, and educators can start shopping the latest off-to-college trends, including fall fashion items like the adidas Foundation Iv Backpack, 7 For All Mankind Women’s Josefina Boyfriend Jean, adidas Originals Men’s Cloudfoam Ultimate Running Shoe, Goodthreads Men’s Short-Sleeve Slub Henley Tee, and Monrow Women’s Relaxed Crewneck with Embroidered Heart; dorm room decor such as the Rivet Caden Task Table Lamp, Rivet Modern Ombre Effect Lightweight Throw, AmazonBasics Closet Storage Organizer, Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by De’Longhi, and Umbra Estique Entry Organizer; and study necessities like the ASUS Chromebook, Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones, Sharpie Liquid Highlighters, and Avery Big Tab Reversible Fashion Dividers in Assorted Glitter Colors. Students can also find inspiration from their peers by shopping their curated lists at www.amazon.com/peerpicks.

More Ways to Shop than Ever Before

Amazon App: Customers are increasingly choosing to do their back-to-school and off-to-college shopping on the Amazon App. In fact, mobile shopping on the Amazon App during the back-to-school timeframe last year increased by 65 percent from 2016. Customers can download the Amazon App and shop everything in the Back to School and Off to College stores from anywhere, at any time.

AmazonSmile: Customers who start their back-to-school and off-to-college shopping at smile.amazon.com have the added benefit of Amazon donating a percentage of eligible purchases to their charity of choice – at no cost to the customer. There are more than one million charities in AmazonSmile to choose from, including over 150,000 school, Parent-Teacher Associations, and organizations supporting student financial aid and scholarships.

Amazon.com in Spanish: Customers can shop from millions of back-to-school and off-to-college products, view their shopping cart, and place orders in Spanish. Preferred language settings can be updated in the Amazon App and on Amazon.com by clicking the ‘globe’ button located in the navigation bar at the top of the Amazon home screen. To date, millions of customers have chosen Spanish as their preferred language to shop on Amazon.com and in the Amazon App.

Amazon Business: Amazon Business, www.amazon.com/business, offers everything from curriculum supplies, STEM resources, sports and music equipment to advanced supplies for research labs, as well as access to single item and quantity discounts on millions of products. Tens of thousands of public school districts, colleges and universities, and independent schools are using Amazon Business to get the most out of their back-to-school budgets.

Prime Wardrobe: Shopping for back-to-school and off-to-college styles is made easy through Amazon’s most stylish Prime benefit yet, Prime Wardrobe, available at www.amazon.com/primewardrobe. Prime Wardrobe is a try-before-you-buy program, where customers can fill their Prime Wardrobe cart with eligible styles – from clothes to shoes to accessories, for men, women, kids, and babies – try on items at home, and take up to seven days to decide what to keep. Customers will only be charged for the items they keep. Returns are free and made easy with a re-sealable box and pre-paid label included with their order.

Whole Foods Market: Customers can find healthy and organic food products for weekday breakfasts, school lunchboxes, after school snacking, and family meal time at all Whole Foods Market stores. Prime members enjoy an additional 10 percent off of hundreds of items already on sale, plus deep discounts on select popular items. Prime members can enjoy delivery in as little as an hour from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now in 19 cities (and more to come in 2018).

The Latest Ways to Stay Ahead of the Class with Alexa

Ask Alexa: Families looking for back-to-school tips can simply say, “Alexa, give me a back-to-school tip” and Alexa will provide fun and educational helpful tips for conquering the upcoming school year.

Educational Q&A: With the new Echo Dot Kids Edition and Amazon FreeTime on Alexa, parents can choose what content their kids access on their device and kids can ask Alexa questions about science, math, spelling, definitions, or other educational topics that piques their curiosity. For example, “Alexa, how many miles is it to the Andromeda Galaxy?” or “Alexa, how do you spell pterodactyl?” Since Alexa is built in the cloud and is always getting smarter, she’ll continue to learn new information every day.

Alexa Skill Blueprints: Customers can create and share their own personalized Alexa skills in minutes using a set of easy-to-use templates. With Alexa Skill Blueprints, customers can create custom ‘Flashcards’ or a ‘Quiz’ for their favorite subject by filling in the blanks. Once they’ve created their own study skills, they can ask Alexa for some personalized help at study time and even share their skills with their study group or other classmates.

Customized Desk: The Echo Show has all the features customers love about Alexa, plus a customizable home screen that makes it a sleek and smart desk accessory. College students can simply ask to see the weather, watch a flash briefing, set an alarm for morning class, make Alexa calls to friends and family or listen to music while studying. It’ll keep students on-time and on-task this school year.

College Campus Style with Echo Look: Alexa can help students look their best from the first day on campus to the last with Echo Look, a first-of-its-kind Echo device focused on style. Get a second opinion on which of two outfits looks best with Style Check, then ask Alexa to snap a head-to-toe photo of their look to share with friends and family—no cell phone mirror selfie required.

Free Shipping and Convenient Delivery
Prime members receive unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 100 million items, Prime FREE One-Day Shipping, and Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery in more than 8,000 cities and towns, and two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of everyday essentials with Prime Now in more than 30 major cities. All Amazon customers can choose from more than one hundred million items that are eligible for free shipping this back-to-school shopping season and all year long. This includes eligible orders of $25 or more shipped by Amazon, as well as free shipping offers from the millions of small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon.

SOURCE: Amazon Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

2 thoughts on “Already? Amazon Launches Back-to-School Shopping Portals”

  1. And Fleecebay is dragging up the rear. We are off to buy school clothes. Amazon here we come.

  2. back to school sale is funny since here in Canada kids are not done with school just yet vacation still hasnt started.

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