Updated Aug 6, 2018

By the numbers: How Amazon led the back-to-school season charge

Photo: Jeff Greenberg/UIG/Getty Images

The first weekend in August is the peak of back-to-school shopping for parents, but Amazon Prime Day stealthily advertised deals that extended the shopping season over a few months.

Why it matters: Parents are expected to spend more than ever on clothing, electronics and school supplies, but Prime Day's deals last month jumpstarted the back-to-school season, allowing buyers to plan out purchases over a longer period of time instead of just one or two impulse-driven weekends.

By the numbers: Shopping for school supplies has become a key season for retailers as schools and universities provide vast lists of recommended or required items for students — sometimes specifying the recommended type of laptop or brand of disinfectant wipes. And this is the first year that stores are increasingly using more diverse forms of social media to reach shoppers, according to a report by Retailmenot.

  • More than 180 retailers kicked off competitive deals against Prime Day, a 53% increase from 2017.
  • 67% will use Facebook Live for back-to-school deals.
  • 56% will use Snapchat.
  • 55% and 42% will market their products with beauty and celebrity influencers, respectively.
  • 44% are increasing their offline ads, per eMarketer.
  • The average family with children in elementary school through high school will spend $684.79, steady with last year’s $687.72, the National Retail Federation predicts.

Don't forget: Price is still the main deciding factor for back-to-school season as stores try to get shoppers through their doors.

1 safety thing: Bulletproof backpacks are now showing up online and in big stores like Walmart and Home Depot. The item has always been available on niche websites, but creators are seeing sales up by 300%, Ben Hansen, the owner of Active Violence Solutions told GV Wire. Most of the backpacks range from $120-$500.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,131,713 — Total deaths: 59,884 — Total recoveries: 233,591Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 278,458 — Total deaths: 7,159 — Total recoveries: 9,897Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
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The renaissance of the American family

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It used to be scarce and hard-earned, but suddenly family time is abundant in the era of shelter-in-place.

Why it matters: For the first time since the early 19th century, many parents and kids — and even grandchildren — are all under the same roof round-the-clock. And if past periods of emergency are any guide, this enforced togetherness could deepen our relationships for years to come.

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Driving the news: Biden spoke about the state of the 2020 race during a virtual fundraiser on Friday night that was opened to pooled coverage.