Summer is coming to an end, and school will be starting up again soon. For kids, this is an exciting fresh start (until the homework starts rolling, that is). For parents, this is much more stressful because it means it’s back-to-school shopping season. Finding the perfect school supplies, clothes, shoes, etc… can be challenging while also trying to please your children and maintain a budget.
School shopping season is upon us, and spending is as high as ever. Luckily, we’ve prepared our ultimate back-to-school shopping stats/guide for you. What product categories are expected to be the hottest sellers? Where are shoppers buying their back-to-school products this year? How can you get the most from back-to-school shopping? All this and more will be answered in the following post. Take a look!
NRF Shopping Stats
According to the NRF, back-to-school shopping is expected to reach $82.8 Billion between both back-to-school and back-to-college shopping. Back-to-school spending is expected to be $685 per household, and back-to-college spending is expected to be $942 per household. This makes the back-to-school shopping season the second highest in spending closely following the winter holidays.
Where is all this money going? The top 4 categories for back-to-school are clothing and accessories, electronics, shoes, and school supplies. The top 4 back-to-college purchase categories are electronics, clothing and accessories, dorm or apartment furnishings, and food. While there are some situational differences that cause these categories to vary, shoes and school supplies closely follow food in back-to-college spending.
What about the location? Where is everyone buying the majority of their products? For both back-to-school and back-to-college, spending is divvied up between department stores, online, discount stores, office supply stores and clothing stores. The biggest difference between back-to-school and back-to-college is the percent of people who go to each store. Back-to-college shopping also listed the college bookstore as a big purchase point for shoppers.
To see how the stats are laid out fully, check out the NRF website linked here.
What Mobee Users Have to Say
You may have noticed a back-to-school shopping Mission located in your Anywhere Missions recently. Well, the results are in and we’re going to share them with you to see how they stack up with expert expectations.
On average, you all plan to spend about $439.82 on back-to-school and back-to-college products, which is less than expected. In addition, about 47.9% of our Mobee users who completed this Mission expect to spend the same amount as last year while 24.5% expect to spend more. Back-to-school shopping can get pricey… luckily in-store and online discounts tend to be much more commonly available this time of year.
What categories are the most important to the Mobee users this back-to-school shopping season? In the lead is (drumroll please…) non-tech school supplies with 93.3%. Tied for first, however, is clothing (93.3%) which is closely followed by shoes (89.1%) and accessories (87.9%). The least popular category is technology-based school supplies with 37.3%. So, what products are popular for back-to-college shoppers? Like back-to-school, non-tech school supplies are the most popular with 84.4%. This is followed by clothing (67.8%), accessories (64.7%), technology-based school supplies (60.3%), shoes (58.1%), and dorm supplies (39.6%)
Looking at these numbers, many of them are comparable to the 2018 back-to-school shopping predictions. We are surprised to see technology-based products are so unpopular this shopping season, however. But, with each new school year, there are new product needs that are constantly shifting. Finding the products that fit your needs is the most important piece of the back-to-school shopping puzzle.
School Shopping Tips and Tricks
How can you get the most from your back-to-school shopping? Follow these tips and tricks to get the most with the least. Take advantage of any discounts you can, for example, Amazon Prime Day is the perfect chance to find the items you need at a huge discount. While this event has passed for this year, this tip will prove to be extremely useful in the future.
It’s no surprise many shoppers are looking to buy in early August (32.3%) and late August (14.1%) because the end-of-summer sales are something you’ll also want to take advantage of. While I understand the relief of getting your back-to-school shopping done early, many of the best sales happen later in the summer. What’s more? Buying “trendier” items to far from when school starts can lead to children begging for new products that are “cooler” and that they believe will help them fit in once school begins. This can be anything from clothes to backpacks to lunch boxes. Waiting until later in the summer is a great way to ensure your child(ren) knows what they’re looking for and won’t change their minds later.
If you’re shopping for college students (or soon to be college students) look for outside options to rent books at a much lower rate than offered at the school bookstore. You can compare prices and make the decision that’s best for you. You’ll save hundreds if you can find the right books at a cheaper rate… just don’t forget to return them.
Finally, compare, compare, compare! Compare prices, compare quality, compare everything so you can guarantee you’re finding the best products for the best prices. Sometimes finding a huge deal isn’t worth the lack of quality. Sacrificing a little in price can end up saving you a lot in the long run.
When all else fails, Mobee rewards are always on your side. From Target and Best Buy to MasterCard gift cards, you can get many of the school supplies you need with your rewards. Mystery shopping has never been so beneficial!