5 min

E-commerce and Backpacks: Back-to-School Best Sellers

As the summer draws to a close, along with moules frites and Spritz, it’s time for school supplies. Back-to-school season is a highlight that boosts online sales in several sectors.

  • Which sectors benefit the most from back-to-school season?
  • Is Eastpak still the go-to backpack brand?
  • How are different players preparing for back-to-school in e-commerce? Let’s take a closer look.

Backpacks and School Bags: Top Retailers

Amazon leads the sales of backpacks and school bags, with a 27.1% market share in August – a decrease compared to August 2022.

In the second and third positions, Cabaia and Vinted have smaller market shares (12.5% and 11.8%, respectively), but they have increased compared to the previous year.

Eastpak comes in fourth place with a 7.9% market share – but remains the most popular backpack brand.

Most Popular Backpack and School Bag Brands

Eastpak continues to be the favorite brand in the backpack/school bag sector, holding over a quarter of the market share (26.2%) for sales in August – compared to 20.7% in July.

Inflation, Decreased Purchasing Power, and Second-hand

While some school supplies cannot be purchased second-hand, second-hand backpacks and school bags are popular for back-to-school. At Cabaia, the average price of an item is €73.40 – €60.60 at Eastpak. On Vinted: €23.

Due to inflation, more and more consumers are turning to second-hand options. Between 2022 and 2023, the share of second-hand purchases in online backpack and school bag sales increased from 11.1% to 13.1%.

What About Clothing?

Traditional children’s clothing retailers see their online market shares decline.

Sales of children’s clothing increased by 1.6 percentage points in August compared to July – a slight increase (+0.2%) compared to the previous year.

Vertbaudet and Kiabi, two historical players in the children’s clothing sector, saw their online market shares decline during the back-to-school period. Despite the launch of its second-hand website in 2022 (re)Vertbaudet, the brand’s market share in August dropped from 13% to 7.5% between 2021 and 2023. The brand, which used to be the market leader in back-to-school children’s clothing sales, is now in fourth place.

Vinted captures 15% of the market share in children’s clothing sales.

The decline in market share for traditional retailers benefits Vinted: the platform gained 5% of market share in 2 years, becoming the online reference for back-to-school clothing purchases.

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For industry players, what marketing strategies should be adopted for back-to-school?

Create a “Back-to-School” Category

As with all peak seasons in e-commerce, a special back-to-school selection is an opportunity to showcase products that match the buying intentions of shoppers.

The goal is to make suggestions and facilitate navigation for an optimized user experience.

Focus on Cross-Selling

Give visibility to products that the e-shopper didn’t originally intend to visit to increase the average cart value and generate more revenue.

Key Insights

  • In August, Amazon accounted for over 27% of online sales of backpacks and school bags.
  • Eastpak remains the favorite brand in the backpack/school bag sector with over a quarter of the market share (26.2%) for sales in August.
  • The average price of a backpack is €60 on the Eastpak website, compared to €23 on Vinted. Vinted captures 15% of the market share in children’s clothing sales in August.


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