July is the time for marketers, parents and students to set their attention on back to school. But back-to-school (BTS/B2S) shoppers generally start thinking about what they need in June and stretch out the buying process until mid-August or later.
Here are some key findings talks about consumer trends for 2016-17 BTS season:
- 37% of K-12 parents started their shopping a month before school starts.
- Almost half of them (49%) shopped after 5 pm.
- Promotions/store sales are the most effective driver for 52% of parents when they purchased back-to-school items.
- The vast majority of parents used to decide where to shop (> 70%), but they are more influenced by their college freshmen than their K-12 children (30% vs. 11%).
- Freshmen parents plan to spend more than K-12 parents across all BTS categories. Ex: The average spend on school supplies for freshmen parents was $223 vs. $130 for K-12.
- School supplies (93%), apparel/retail (89%), food + beverage (58%) and technology (50%) are the top categories parents shop for.
- 73% of freshmen parents reported that they will purchase BTS items on a mobile device, compared to 54% of K-12 parents.
- 68% of parents have a retailer app, 47% of them have downloaded “Amazon” mobile app and 33% have downloaded “Walmart“.
- Nearly half of students own laptops (51%), tablets (51%) and mobile devices (49%), while laptops (49%) and tablets (42%) are the main intended Technology supplies to purchase.
- 37% of freshmen parents have made purchases based on online or mobile ads within the previous week of the survey, compared to 24% of K-12 parents.
Data were driven from interviews with 1,506 (MOE ±2.53%) amongst parents including 1,000 interviews with parents of kids entering grades K-12 (MOE ±3.1%) and 506 interviews with parents of students entering their freshman year of college (MOE ±4.36%).