We use cookies to track usage and preferences. For more information check our privacy policy.


Back-to-School with Amazon

30 Aug 2021

Amazon Continues To Deliver For Seasonal Events

With schools re-opening across the UK this week, parents and teachers alike are frantically shopping to purchase the necessary school supplies. Similar to traditional retailers such as Marks & Spencer’s, Ocado, John Lewis and Rymans, Amazon has launched a ‘back-to-school’ curated online store showcasing the most in demand and loved back-to-school products accompanied by enticing discounts for thrifty shoppers willing to take the time to compare across sites.

Via proprietary solutions we can analyse shopper intent and identify the top 100 searched keywords on Amazon during August to tease out the trends and compare them to prior periods.

The illustration below shows the most searched terms on Amazon in August, with the word size relating to search frequency and back-to-school items highlighted in blue.

Pencil cases, backpacks, desks and school bags for girls have made prominent appearances – in fact ‘pencil cases’ are ranked as the second most searched for item on Amazon across the month, ranking higher than the most awaited and desired entertainment options like ‘PS5’, ‘Lego’ and ‘Xbox’.

The leading back-to-school terms showed a dramatic uplift in volume of searches as the re-opening date drew ever closer.

The below graph demonstrates the proportional increase of search volume across the top back-to-school categories. The top key words (‘Pencil cases,’ ‘Backpacks,’ ‘School Shoes’) all attracted a search volume increase of over 80% on average vs the previous month of July.

How has back to school shopping evolved since 2020?

The back-to-school season this year is set to be dramatically different to the same period last year, as students revert to attending school programs in person.

This trend coincides with the fact that 2021 offers a plethora of choice to purchase back-to-school items – covering both online stores as well as the traditional high street brick and mortar options.

Comparing Amazon search terms from Aug 2021 to the same period the previous year (Aug 2020), the data shows that despite multiple in person options being available, the behaviour of online shopping for back-to-school items has not only been maintained from the year prior, but in multiple categories has in fact increased significantly.

Items such as highlighters, backpacks and sharpeners have shown >50% increases in Amazon search volume.

The notable outlier, showing a drop in Amazon search volume is seen on durable electronic items such as Notebooks; albeit that this category may have been artificially inflated the year prior by the additional factors such as commercial demand for laptops.


Amazon continues to be a significant value add for brands looking to build awareness in the search for top funnel, new to brand customers. One method to improve a company’s (and their respective products ranking) on Amazon is with an accurate and targeted keyword optimization strategy. The list below shows the top brands dominating each of the most notable back-to-school categories.

What brands are topping the shopping list on Amazon?

Winners based on greatest share of click rate for Aug ‘21:

  1. ‘Pencil Cases’ – Easthill
  2. ‘Backpack’ – Vans
  3. ‘School Shoes’ – Kickers
  4. ‘Notebooks’ – SUMMIT
  5. ‘Lunchbox’ – Sistema
  6. ‘Stationery’ – Bic
  7. ‘Stationery Set’ – Staedtler
  8. ‘Pens’ – Bic
  9. ‘Pencils’ – Staedtler
  10. ‘Colouring Pencils’ – Staedtler
  11. ‘Colour Pens’ – Paper Mae
  12. ‘Crayons’ – Crayola
  13. ‘Highlighter’ – STABILO
  14. ‘Scissors’ – Westcott
  15. ‘Permanent Marker’ – Sharpie
  16. ‘Ruler’ – Helix-Oxford
  17. ‘Glue’ – Pritt
  18. ‘Eraser’ – Helix Oxford
  19. ‘Sharpener’ – Staedtler
  20. ‘Sticky Notes’ – Snopake
  21. ‘Mathematical Set’ – Helix Oxford
  22. ‘Ring Binder’ – Exacompta
  23. ‘Highlighter’ – STABILO
  24. Scientific Calculator – Casio
  25. ‘Portable charger’ – INIU
  26. ‘Laptop’ – ASUS
  27. ‘Diary’ – Amazon’s EONO
  28. School Uniform – Luxe Diva
  29. Dictionary – Oxford Paperback Dictionary & Thesaurus
  30. Keyboard – Kensington


For more information on how to leverage consumer behaviour trends on Amazon get in touch here – info@acorn-i.com 

More News

Ready to talk