The What And Where of Back To School Shopping

In yesterday’s post, we provided information on the estimated growth of back to school shopping.  Just how large is the back to school shopping season? When you combine K-12 and college back to school spending, it’s the second biggest shopping season behind the winter holidays.  The variety of products that are needed to get kids ready for the school year is extensive and your business can certainly capitalize on back to school consumers.  Today, we’ll look at where people are shopping and what they are looking to buy.

• Over two-thirds of back to school shoppers nationally will make purchases at a discount store, six in 10 will shop at a department store

• Just over half will shop at a clothing store and over 40% will shop for back to school supplies at an office supply store

• 26% will buy something for back to school at an electronics store, 23% will shop at a drug store and just under 10% will make a catalog purchase

• Nearly 40% will shop online for back to school supplies

• 95% of back to school shoppers will be buying clothing and the average spending amount will be nearly $260.  93% will by shoes and the average amount spent will be nearly $140

• 96% of back to school shoppers are planning to purchase school supplies such as notebooks, pens, pencils backpacks and lunchboxes.  The average amount spent is roughly $100

• While 60% plan to buy electronics or computer related equipment, the spending amount is $365

• The economy is certainly effecting back to school shopping behaviors, nearly 40% plan on spending less overall and over a quarter will re-use supplies from last year

• Over half will shop more sales, one-third will do more comparative shopping online and 36% will be using coupons

• Over 35% will do more comparative shopping using newspapers and
ad circulars

What Does This Mean To You?

Metro Orlando is a great environment for back to school shopping behavior, over 40% of adults have children in their household.  To make sure your business capitalizes on back to school shopping trends, you need to make sure you have top of mind awareness.  The majority of back to school shoppers will be looking for sales, you need to make sure your message is front and center in products that reach those shopping for back to school products.  Digital will also be a major player, digital products also offer excellent targeting options. While men may be spending more on back to school products, women will be doing a larger percentage of the shopping. This means that social networking can also help increase your share of back to school shoppers.  Print options cannot be overlooked either.  A great many shoppers will be relying on coupons and newspaper circulars to save money.  For more information on targeting back to school shoppers and seeing success, please contact:
Al Fiala

Source:, National Retail Federation;; The 2012 Scarborough Report, Release 1


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