How COVID-​19 is Affecting Back-​to-​School Shopping

Back-to-School Shopping

Back-​to-​school shopping is back in full swing for the year. Even though classes have already started at many schools, COVID-​19 is presenting new challenges for both teachers and students, one that they may not have accounted for during their first few back-​to-​school shopping trips.

Back-​to-​School Shopping Supplies

For the most part, American’s shopping lists for school remain fairly similar to previous years, according to a report by Inmar Intelligence. 71% of parents plan to buy standard school supplies and 56% will purchase new apparel items for their kids. Additionally, 37% of both teachers and college students want to buy household items for their classrooms and dorms, respectively.

Here’s where the COVID effect comes crashing in to back-​to-​school shopping lists. Parents who have to balance a mix of in-​school and e‑learning or who have to send their kids back to school as if everything was back to normal are concerned for the health of their children. As such, 54% of parents will pay for various germ-​fighting products for their kids to take to school, from hand sanitizer to sanitation wipes and other health-​related products. In addition, 30% of parents who are sending their children back to school full-​time are concerned that future flare ups in COVID-​19 case numbers will cause schooling to have to be done 100% online. To prepare for this, they’re joining the parents who are already housing e‑learning students. A return to e‑learning means the purchase of more homeschooling supplies. These supplies include desks, laptops or tablets, and other necessary items to turn a child’s bedroom into an at-​home classroom.

How Will Parents Shop for Their Kid’s School Supplies?

Despite COVID-19’s positive influence on online shopping revenue, many parents will continue to shop in physical stores to complete their back-​to-​school shopping lists. 54% of parents plan to shop both online and in stores for their supplies. And they’re not planning on knocking all their entire list in one fell swoop at a single store either. 85% will shop at a minimum of two stores, if not more, in search of the best deals and products for their kids. But they won’t shop just anywhere. Stores need to promote their vast selections of an array of back-​to-​school products in order for 73% of parents to add their stores to the list.

Back-​to-​School Shoppers are also heavily influenced by savings. Just last month, 42.8% of these shoppers turned to the internet in search of both coupons and discount codes, according to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. Additionally, their favorite types of emails to receive from businesses include coupons or discount codes (61.6%) and limited-​time offers and savings (43.6%), with 53.8% of these shoppers having taken action after receiving an email ad within the last year. Also within the last year, 50.9% were influenced to take action because of ads they saw on daily deals sites such as Groupon. This group accounts for both parents of grade school students and teachers, as 10.2% of this audience identify as K‑12 teachers. Overall, 36.3% of Back-​to-​School Shoppers have a personal goal to reduce debt and increase their savings this year.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-​op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.