25% of Back-​to-​School Shoppers Stocking Up Now

For the average parent with school and college-​age children, summer months can mean free help around the house and family vacations. It can also mean summer camps and babysitters, pool parties and, of course, back-​to-​school and college shopping. In 2014, NRF's back-​to-​school survey found that nearly one-​quarter of families were shopping at least two months before school started.

Many parents are already shopping for the next school year.

"NRF recently polled more than 6,400 adults with children in K‑12 and college and found 29% of households with school-​age kids (6–17) plan to spend more than last year for back to school, compared with nearly 24% who said the same thing this time last year," Kathy Grannis Allen wrote in "Families plan to spend more for back to school and college this year." "As for college students and their families, nearly 3 in 10 plan to spend more this summer, up from 23% who said they‰Ûªd be spending more when we asked the same question last year."

"While this is survey is a mere snapshot in time, the positive uptick in planned spending means that retailers‰Ûª back-​to-​school season ‰ÛÓ second only to the winter holidays in terms of foot traffic and sales ‰ÛÓ could bring a welcome boost in sales after a disappointing first half of the year."

"Regardless of their spending plans this summer, the economy is still top of mind for some families, especially when it comes to making sure their children have what they need for the school year," Allen wrote.

"Among those who say the economy will impact their back-​to-​school and college spending plans, 32% of college shoppers plan to comparison shop online to make sure they get the best bang for their buck, up from nearly 28% last year. More than 31% of school shoppers will compare prices online, compared with nearly 30% last year."

"Retailers are using social media and other online promotions to reach millions of parents already shopping for back to school. West Elm is highlighting its student and teacher discounts on Instagram."

According to AudienceSCAN data, Back-​to-​School Shoppers are pinners. Definitely get your advertisers on their boards in time for school shopping because this audience is 75% more likely than average audiences to be actively pinning away on Pinterest in the past 30 days! Also in the past month, 54% of BTS Shoppers have used the Internet to find coupons or discount codes, so now is a great time to promote coupon codes on supplies. Keep in mind that 32% received mobile smartphone app ads or text message ads in the past month and jumped on them!

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.