Trend Reports

7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Back-to-School Shoppers

A recent 1Q survey polled 200 parents of kids between Pre-K and senior year of high school about their back-to-school shopping habits. 

We’re going to share some of those insights, from how parents are handling inflation and economic uncertainty to the sort of food they’re buying for their kids’ lunches. 

Let’s take a look.

1. Back-to-school shoppers are worried about their kid’s mental health

Parents are most concerned about the mental burden of school this year. When asked what worries them, 53% of parents said their child’s mental health. It’s no surprise, really, considering pandemic fears, socialization concerns, and even just run-of-the-mill bullying.

At a relatively distant second, parents were worried about their kid’s grades (44%). Worries about making friends rounded out third (43%), with school shootings at a close fourth (42%) and COVID at fifth (40%).

Expect more parents to look into healthier back-to-school options, entertainment products to distract, and even less of a focus on material items for their kids.

2. The economy has parents focusing on only what they need

When asked how the uncertain economy has changed their back-to-school spending priorities, the most popular answer (51%) was “purchasing only what we need.” 

This austerity can be a concern for retailers, but coupons, giveaways, and discounts can draw nervous shoppers back in. 

3. Families are looking for coupons and deals to offset inflation

68% of parents said they plan to or already have spent more money on school equipment, almost certainly due to rampant inflation. 

This is supported by an answer later in the survey, where 49% of parents said their economic concerns had led them to seek out more deals, specials, and coupons when back-to-school shopping.

4. Hygiene products are going in the backpack

61% of polled parents said they’re buying hygienic products like hand sanitizer to add to their kids’ backpacks. Increased awareness of germs and illness, and lingering COVID fears, ensure this trend likely won’t slack for awhile. 

Brands selling hygiene products would be wise to include kid-friendlu versions of them in back-to-school aisles.

5. Classroom supplies are still #1

85% of parents said they’re buying typical classroom supplies like pencils, pens, notebooks, and folders. In second place, at 80%, are new outfits and accessories for their kids. 

Third place, at 72%, are must-have containers like backpacks, water bottles, and lunch boxes. 

6. Parents are buying healthy food for their kids

Although about half of parents opt for school-provided lunch, those parents packing lunches are seeking healthy options: sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables are lunchbox staples. Sweets like cookies and muffins are at the bottom of the pack, with only 41% saying they would include those items.

Juice also fell behind bottled water as the drink of choice for their child’s lunchbox.

7. Half of parents are shopping in-store

A recent Deloitte survey found that nearly half (49%) of parents are buying their school supplies in-store, with the rest using websites like Amazon or Walmart. 

Online retailers are still doing well, but expect in-person deals to be a focus of marketing campaigns and parent shopper attention.

Reach out to Inspira Marketing today to learn more parent/consumer sentiment, and how your brand can get the attention of these busy back-to-school shoppers.

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