Consumers Cut Back on Back to School Spending

back to school supplies

It’s the back to school shopping season again, but retailers will most likely not see a big increase in their revenues this year.

Financial consultancy firm Deloitte polled 1,200 parents of school-aged children and found that the total spending on school supplies and other items for students in grades K-12 this year is expected to hit $27.8 billion or $519 per student, which is just a 1.8% increase from 2018.

Clothing and accessories will bring in an average of $15 billion in sales, while school supplies are expected to generate $6.1 billion.

The survey also shows that sales of electronic gadgets like mobile phones and wearable devices are projected to grow by $800 million as consumers are spending a total of $3.6 billion on these.

On the other hand, the computer and hardware category will decline by $600 million because shoppers only intend to spend as much as $3.1 billion in this area

“We’re seeing the movement away from computers to cloud-based technologies and mobile technologies. The impact of the cloud on primary education is surprising. They’re using technologies to store all of their work in the cloud, so they’ll be able to do most of their work from home. It changed the dynamic in terms of what they really need.” – Rod Sides, Vice Chairman of Retail and Distribution, Deloitte

Mass-market retailers and online-only sellers are expected to be the top gainers this year, growing their sales by 88% and 45%, respectively.

Main concerns of shoppers

Price and product quality are the top considerations of both in-store and online shoppers, according to Deloitte’s report, but 58% of those shopping on the internet prefer a website that offers free shipping.

Below are other factors that matter to them when choosing where to buy back-to-school items:

● Sales/Price Discounts (69%)
● Competitive Prices (57%)
● Carries Items on My Shopping List (48%)
● Store Location (46%)
● Carries Brands/Styles I Want to Purchase (40%)

The report also includes the main tool that online consumers are most likely to use for shopping; 60% plan to use mobile, 42% said desktop or laptop, and 19% said social media.

As to when they plan to start their back-to-school shopping activity, 90% of the respondents are looking at late July or early August.

How are you planning for the back-to-school shopping season? Let us know in the comments below or over in our Facebook Group.