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This Year's Back to School Trends

Posted by Joe Clarkin on Aug 19, 2015 4:00:00 AM
Topics: back to college, K-12

Every school year brings new trends along with it. Whether it's a new way to dress or the latest technology, things are always changing in our classrooms one way or another. Using a couple of different reports, Retail Customer Experience lays out the new things going on in 2015. Check out an excerpt from the article below, and be sure to check out all the information here.

Two of the most respected reports are the annual Deloitte “Back-to-School” survey and the National Retail Federation’s “Back-to-School Spending Survey,” conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Retail Customer Experience culled through each, snagging various nuggets to help retailers make the most of the remaining sales weeks as a new school year looms.

Deloitte highlights:
The 2015 "Back-to-School" survey was conducted online by an independent research company and polled a sample of 1,015 U.S. parents of school-aged children between July 5 and 8, 2015. All respondents had at least one child attending school in grades K-12 this fall.

  • Shoppers aren’t rushing into stores given a back-log inventory stowed in closets.
  • Shoppers who are mobile savvy may be doing more research on the beach before hitting the stores.
  • 38 percent shopping for students in grades K-12 view the season as less important as those helping college students get supplies, as they tend to buy during the school year as well.
  • Americans' spending for children in grades K-12 and college combined is expected to remain flat this season at $1,747, compared with $1,766 last year.
  • Consumers re-using items is increasing from 26 percent to 39 percent between 2011 and 2015.
  • Consumers are no longer exclusively driven by discounts.
  • Consumers will be "mission-driven" and making most of the purchasing decisions prior to the store, with digital devices in greater play.
  • This year shows a 6-percent jump in smartphone owners using devices for shopping, with 80 percent of shoppers taking that approach.
  • More than half, 51 percent, of shoppers are not familiar with in-store beacon technology, and 32 percent said they had no plans to use it.
  • Just 10 percent will rely on social media for back-to-school shopping, down from 18 percent last year and 35 percent in 2011.

Summary: "Consumers are sending a message to retailers that says the back-to-school shopping season just isn't that important anymore — and that could dramatically disrupt an industry that traditionally relies on this defined period for a significant portion of annual sales," Deloitte LLP Vice Chairman and retail and distribution sector leader Alison Paul stated in a release on the report. "The question for retailers is how to capture the sales that may not fall exclusively in July or August, but increasingly spread throughout the year. If consumers are content with the items they already have, the two-for-one promotion may no longer get them to the register. Instead, retailers will have to provide something more meaningful or exclusive that fits their customers' needs when they are ready to buy."

About Joe Clarkin

Joe Clarkin is a former copywriter at MBS. When he’s not working or studying, you’re most likely to find him reading a book or watching a game.

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