- Consumers are expected to spend record amounts for both back-to-school and back-to-college shopping this year, according to an annual survey released July 13 by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Back-to-school spending could reach an unparalleled $41.5 billion, up from $36.9 billion last year. Meanwhile, back-to-college spending is expected to hit $94 billion, about $20 billion more than last year’s record. The increase in expected spending is primarily driven by more demand for electronics, but in the case of college spending, necessities like food also account for more than half of the anticipated increase.
- Many shoppers are still concerned about the economy — and their shopping patterns will likely reflect that, according to insights from data platform company Inmar Intelligence. Rob Weisberg, EVP and president of incentives and loyalty at Inmar Intelligence, notes that 88% of shoppers surveyed say that their shopping behavior will change as a result of continued economic friction this season. Meanwhile, 72% say that they would switch, or consider switching, to a different brand because of a coupon or discount.
- Most back-to-school shopping at supermarkets will happen in stores, although a sizable number of shoppers like to shop both in stores and online, according to Inmar Intelligence. Almost half of those surveyed (48%) say that they plan to purchase grocery items in stores, while 17% plan to purchase such items online and 33% plan to purchase these products using both channels.
- The 2023 Back-to-School Survey from marketing platform Optimove suggests that budget-conscious consumers are willing to invest more in educational needs. Still, more than 70% of those surveyed say that they continue to prioritize price and quality, aligning with trends observed in Optimove’s previous surveys. Pini Yakuel, CEO of Optimove, suggests that retailers build their brand loyalty by “adopting strategies that put customers first, such as attractive loyalty programs and high-value products.” He also notes that having a commitment to education and creating localized programs can strengthen connections with consumers.
Shoppers Expected to Spend More and Shop in Stores This Season
Just in time for the 2023 back-to-school shopping season, several industry groups and research firms have come out with fresh consumer insights that can help retailers in their planning. Here are some highlights from a few of the latest surveys: