Retailers to Tout These Hot Back-​to-​School Items

BY Rachel Cagle
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"The back-​to-​school and college shopping season is in full swing, but many parents and college students say they are waiting for the best deals to complete their shopping lists, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics. Total spending for K‑12 schools and college combined was projected to reach $82.8 billion in 2018."

"Families with children in elementary through high school planned to spend an average $684.79 each in 2018, compared with 2017’s $687.72 for a total of $27.5 billion. Those with young people headed to college, as well as college and graduate students purchasing for themselves, planned to spend an average $942.17 each in 2018, for a total of $55.3 billion."

"According to the survey, back-​to-​school shoppers planned to spend the most on clothing ($236.90) last year. In addition to apparel, back-​to-​school shoppers also planned to spend:

  • $187.10 on electronics such as computers, calculators or phones
  • $138.66 on shoes
  • $122.13 on supplies such as notebooks, pencils, backpacks, and lunchboxes"

"NRF Vice President for Research Mark Mathews said, 'Items like laptops, tablets and smartphones are now an everyday part of household life and aren’t necessarily a purchase parents save for the start of the school year, resulting in the slight decrease in spending for this category.'”

"Unlike back-​to-​schoolers, college shoppers planned to spend the most on electronics ($229.21) in 2018. Besides electronics, they also planned to spend:

  • $153.32 on clothing and accessories
  • $109.29 on dorm or apartment furnishings
  • $102.82 on food
  • $83.41 on shoes
  • $78.70 on personal care items such as skin and hair care
  • $69.46 on school supplies such as notebooks and backpacks
  • $62.61 on gift cards
  • $53.34 on collegiate branded gear"

"The top destinations for consumers shopping for back-​to-​school items were:

  • Department stores (57%)
  • Online retailers (55%)
  • Discount stores (52%)
  • Clothing stores (51%)
  • Office supply stores (35%)"

"Similarly, the most popular shopping destinations for back-​to-​college consumers are:

  • Online retailers (49%)
  • Department stores (40%)
  • Discount stores (35%)
  • Office supply stores (31%)
  • College bookstores (30%)"

"The survey also found that more consumers were planning on starting early. Most back-​to-​school shoppers (77%) planned to start at least three weeks before school began in 2018, up from 2017’s 74% and 64% a decade ago. Moreover, 67% of college shoppers started that early, the same as 2017, but up from 51% in 2008."

Many Back-​to-​School Shoppers are deal-​oriented and will turn to the internet to find the best ways to save on school supplies. According to AudienceSCAN, within the last month, 40.9% of Back-​to-​School Shoppers used the internet to find coupons or discount codes and, within the last six months, 26.7% used a mobile device to redeem or download a coupon. Digital ads advertising deals on school-​related products are ideal for targeting these shoppers.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on department stores, casual clothing stores and educational supply stores, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.