Retailers to Tout These Hot Back-to-School Items

by | 3 minute read

"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.

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.