What to Expect from This Year’s Back to School Season

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Now that summer is halfway over, the back to school season will be here in the blink of an eye. The back to school season is a prime time to capture the attention of incoming college freshman and students returning back to campus. It is a huge revenue driver, as it plays a major role in the lives of every college student. US retail e-commerce is predicted to increases 15 percent in July and August of 2016, according to eMarketer.

When consumers start shopping

According to the National Retail Federation, by August 9 of last year, back to school shoppers had only completed 50 percent of their shopping, and 20 percent hadn’t even started yet. Although most consumers start their shopping in August, there is still a growing percentage of parents and students who are purchasing early on in the season for large purchases such as new technology or dorm furniture.

How much are consumers spending

According to a MarketingLand survey, almost 40% of parents and students plan to spend the same amount as last year, while 39% plan on spending more. eMarketer is predicting a 2.6 percent growth in back to school retail sales, which is a 1.4% higher growth rate than 2015, though smaller than previous years.

What they are buying

Last year, 55% of consumers planned on purchasing back to school apparel over any other back to school category, surpassing 50% of consumers’ vote, according to the survey conducted by MarketingLand. This year, although back to school clothing represents a large portion of what consumers are spending their money on, other items are gaining higher share of wallet, such as consumer electronics. This year, consumers will be spending 43% of their budget on apparel, with 26% for books and supplies. Consumer electronics is predicted to capture 13% of the back to school budgets.

Ready to

Download our back-to-school spending survey