Back to School Shopping is a Must – Survey Reveals

School is back in session – and with August being the go to month for back to school shopping many are out and about buying what they need for the upcoming school year. Whether you’re a parent of a child going to kindergarten or one going into college or just a college student, shopping for back to school is a trend that can’t be ignored.

AYTM surveyed 1000 respondents who identify as back to school shoppers to get to the bottom of what school shopping is all about.

What’s the Plan During Back to School?

We found that 82% of respondents are parents of a child attending Pre K through High School. While only 11% of respondents had a child attending college in the fall.

An overwhelming 84% of respondents plan to do back to school shopping before school starts. Mostly because they claim, “they like to be prepared” while others simply say, “it is easier and less stressful”.

While there can be many items on the back to school list, only 54% of respondents plan on shopping for necessity items only. Compared to 77% who plan to use the back to school season in order to get the best deals possible; allowing them to take advantage of the sales in order to get what they may really want (like a new laptop, or even new furniture in some cases).  Meanwhile, 46% are using this opportunity to stock up on clothes for the year.

What to Shop For

Many parents and students plan on purchasing classroom supplies (92%) followed by clothes (87%) and electronics (38%) for this upcoming school year.  While parents and college students between the ages of 18-24 were 67% more likely to only purchase necessary items than any other age group; Parents with children in high school,  were 48% more likely to go back to school shopping at Best Buy implying a drive to buy electronics for their students.


When and Where to Shop

It is no surprise that with back to school, many stores offer sales ranging from classroom essentials to electronics. And while many states offer tax free weekends to help accommodate back to school shoppers, only 45% of respondents actually took advantage of the deal. While many (77%) are planning to just take advantage of ongoing sales, discounts and coupons.

Walmart seems to be the go to choice for most back to school shoppers leading with 79% of respondents selection, followed by Target at 57% and JC Penny with 23%.

Ads have always been a good way to drive shoppers to sales; and of those who saw an ad this summer , most claimed to have seen Target (45%) and Walmart (44%) print ads than any other form of advertisement from other retail stores. While stores such as JC Penny (27%)  and Macy’s (24%) have a higher recognition in TV ads than their print ads.

The Takeaway

While parents and students alike rack their retail stores rather than their brain during back to school season, most are still looking for the best deal. Scanning print ads seem to be the most efficient form of relaying a sale, some stores such as Macy’s and JC Penny’s TV ads are better recognized.

When it comes to shopping during back to school, most consumers are looking to only purchase classroom essentials especially young students and parents. While parents of students in high school or college go the extra mile by purchasing electronics (which could imply anything from a high tech calculator to a new laptop).

For the full survey results please see below.