Back To School is Second Biggest Shopping Season and Growing in Online Sales

Deloitte, a leading corporate consultancy and services company, released a survey it conducted about Back to School (B2S) spending and it includes some very interesting data.

While in-store shopping still ranks number one, online shopping is gaining ground.

For 2018, total back-to-school spending is expected to top $27.6 billion, or $510 per U.S. household, which is a slight increase over 2017 ($501).

Online shopping is estimated to reach $6 billion in spending or about $115 per U.S. household.

Children have a huge influence on purchases, driving about $21 billion of the overall spending during the B2S season.

While many sellers may only think of this time of the year to start promoting B2S sales, 62 percent of parents actually begin B2S shopping before August. The early-bird shoppers on average spend about $100 per season than those that start later.

The survey also revealed that approximately $18 billion will likely be spent in B2S shopping in the 4 week period between mid-July and mid-August.

Back-To-School is Second Biggest Shopping Season

Approximately 29 million U.S. households have children in K-12 and 50 percent of all school-related spending happens during the B2S season.

Clothing and Accessories are number one on the list in spending with about $15.1 billion in spending. Actual “school supplies” account for $6 billion in spending.

Electronic gadgets, computers and other hardware add up to $6.5 billion in B2S spending.

Holiday spending in the U.S. for 2017 reached approximately $697.9 billion. While the B2S season is fractional in comparison, it still tops all other major spending periods making it the second most important shopping season of the year.

  • Mother’s Day – $23.1 billion (Source Link: NRF)
  • Valentine’s Day – $19.6 billion (Source Link: NRF)
  • Father’s Day – $15.3 billion (Source Link: NRF)

READ MORE: 2017 Marks Best Holiday Season Since Great Depression

Sales Season Awareness

Often small and micro sellers forget about these smaller sales periods during the year, but they can bring in some much-needed cash flow.

And just last month, Amazon touted that small and medium-sized businesses sellers on its platform exceeded $1 billion in sales on Prime Day.

READ MORE: Amazon Prime Members Purchased Over 100 Million Products on Prime Day

A lot of hype around a made-up holiday, which is good for small sellers, but there are many other opportunities throughout the year to capitalize on seasonal spending.

If you did not plan for this year’s B2S season, you may still have some opportunities to reach last-minute B2S shoppers by creating sales right now.

With more spending moving online, the B2S season should be an important time on your sales calendar and maybe for 2019, if you sell on Amazon, Amazon Prime Day could be the kick-off event to boost your revenues.

Here is the full survey from Deloitte on back-to-school spending in the U.S.

Are you running B2S promotions and how is it going for you? Head over to our Facebook Discussion Group or use the comments section below.


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