Parents Plan to Get Savvy with Back-​to-​School/​Back-​to-​College Spending

BY Courtney Huckabay
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As the dog days of summer start to kick in, parents are already planning for the back-​to-​school and back-​to-​college season while their kids continue to enjoy summer break. Last year, our back-​to-​school survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics found that more people in both school and college surveys were waiting to shop until later in the season. This trend is continuing on to this year, with many parents strategically delaying back-​to-​school shopping trips until they find the right deal.

NRF recently polled more than 6,800 adults with children in K‑12 and college and found "54 percent of households with school-​age kids (6–17) are planning to spend the same as last year for back to school, slightly down compared to 57 percent who said the same thing last year. When looking into parents with children heading to college, 37 percent said they are planning to spend the same as last year, up slightly from 35 percent of those who responded to the same question last year."

AudienceSCAN reported 12.9% of Americans have children aged 6–9, so definitely go after this audience for prime BTS shopping dollars.

"Even though many parents are planning to spend about the same as last year, they are getting savvy about how they will complete their back-​to-​school list shopping. According to the survey, 28 percent of parents with school-​age kids (6–17) are planning to use more coupons than last year for back to school. In addition, 25 percent of parents will be putting their heads down and studying ad circulars and newspapers for the best back-​to-​school deals. Parents with college students are pulling all the tricks from their magic hat: 28 percent will buy more store brand/​generic products, 30 percent will shop for sales more often and 21 percent will use more coupons."

Speaking of coupons, AudienceSCAN found 67.8% of Parents of Children 6–9 took action after getting coupons/​ads in their mailboxes in the past year. BTS retailers should take advantage of this winning strategy.

"While this survey is a small snapshot of what’s to come, NRF knows retailers are getting their stores and websites ready for the increase in traffic and sales as back-​to-​school shopping season starts ramping up."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.