27 Back-to-School Marketing and Shopping Statistics

Last year, back-to-school (BTS) spending was expected to reach $510 per household (up from $501 in 2017), and it’s expected to again grow this year. To help your brand prepare for this year’s BTS season, we’ve put together a list of the most compelling back-to-school marketing statistics. 

Back-to-School: Spending Trends

  • In 2018, total K-12 spending for \schools and college combined was projected to reach $82.8 billion, nearly as high as last year’s $83.6 billion. 
  • People who do their BTS  shopping before August spend 16% more.

Back-to-School: Online vs Retail

Back-to-School: Shopping Timing 

  • 77% of shoppers expect to start their BTS shopping at least 3 weeks prior to school beginning. This is up from 74% in 2018 and 64% in 2008. 
  • Deloitte had something similar to say when they found that nearly two-thirds of BTS spending takes place during late July and early August. 
  • One-third of all BTS spending takes place in late August. 
  • In 2017, Mondays were some of the highest online traffic days regarding BTS spending. Specifically, July 24, July 31 and Sept. 4. 

Back-to-School: Advertising and Media Trends

Back-to-School: Customer Purchase Behavior

  • When compared to Moms, Dads spend 10% more (about $700). 
  • 50% of Dads with kids under 18 plan to take part in BTS shopping.
  • Clothing accounts for the majority of BTS spending according to 73% of parents surveyed. 
  •  Brand loyalty is an important factor for 30% of buyers
  • Product reviews and ratings affect purchase decisions for 41% of buyers
  • 89% of parents say that the availability of mobile coupons will determine where they shop. 
  • 33% of parents say they will be actively searching for coupons shopping in-store. 
  • BTS shoppers will make an average of 16 shopping trips between July and September. 

Back-to-School: Influence of Children 

  • 51% of parents will spend over $200 per child during BTS shopping. 
  • Children will likely influence over $21 billion in back-to-school spending during the BTS shopping season. 
  • Parents that bring their children with them for BTS shopping spend almost 33% more

Back-to-School: Key Takeaways

So, what do all of these stats actually mean for businesses?

Well, if you want to maximize your BTS revenue consider weaving the following key takeaways into your marketing strategy:

Start your BTS marketing in mid-July and hit it hard through all of August.

Don’t ignore fathers in your marketing efforts. Better yet, run campaigns specific to their pain points and desires. 

Retailers rejoice: BTS is a fantastic time to drive foot traffic to your store through promotions, events, and other BTS-themed engagements. 

When advertising, lead with reviews, discounts, and promotional opportunities.  

Use social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest) to showcase your selection, brands, and BTS deals. 

Take Back Back-to-School

Ready to make this back-to-school season your biggest yet? We can help!

SocialToaster’s Advocacy Marketing Platform makes it easy to use the social-sharing power of your brand’s biggest fans to share all of your back-to-school news. Get started by scheduling a free demo today with one of our fan advocacy experts. 

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