Skip to main content

Deloitte: Retailers should catch early bird back-to-school shoppers


Hesitating to offer back-to-school deals could result in significant loss of potential sales.

According to the new Deloitte 2016 Back-to-School Survey of 1,200 parents with children in grades K-12, on average, parents will spend $488 for clothing, accessories, school supplies, computers and other electronics for their children this year. The survey also shows the earlier the shopper, the higher the budget. Respondents who said they plan to start shopping for back-to-school by the end of July are likely to spend 26% more than those who begin in August or later.

Retailers should also target back-to-school technology shoppers. Respondents shopping for technology-related items (29%) said they would spend an average of $456 on computers (including software, hardware and accessories), and $286 on gadgets like tablets, smartphones and wearables. Additionally, 31% say they are buying fewer traditional school supplies because their children are using more technology for school.

Roughly two-thirds of the budget for traditional categories like school supplies (66%) and clothing and accessories (63%) will be spent in-store, but back-to-school shopping is becoming increasingly seamless. The majority of shoppers (61%) say they’ll research online before making a purchase in a physical store. One-quarter (25%) of parents surveyed said they plan to use social media to assist with their shopping. However, the top reason to use social media is to find out about promotions (74%), followed by coupons (64%).

Forty percent of parents surveyed said they prefer to purchase from retailers that offer an option to buy online and pick up in store, and 30% think they’ll shop physical stores less this year because the option to buy online and pick up in store is more convenient. Free shipping continues to weigh heavily for online purchases, as 62% of respondents say they are more likely to buy from online retailers who offer free shipping.

Retailers should also keep in mind that 36% of respondents say the season is less important because they replenish school supplies throughout the year.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds