News • 06.08.2021

2021 brings back-to-class shopping to record levels

Online shopping remains top destination for back-to-school shopping

An apple lays on a pile of books next to pencils and colorful dices with letters...
Source: Element5 Digital/Unsplash

Consumers plan to spend record amounts for both school and college supplies as families and students plan to return to in-person classrooms this fall, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

“The pandemic forced parents and their school-aged children to quickly adapt to virtual learning, and they did it with an incredible amount of resolve and flexibility,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We enter the new school year with plans to return to the classroom and retailers are prepared to help Americans find and purchase whatever they need to make this transition as seamless as possible.”

Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $848.90 on school items, which is $59 more than last year. Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, up from $33.9 billion last year and an all-time high in the survey's history. College students and their families plan to spend an average of $1,200.32 on college or university items, an increase of $141 over last year. Over half ($80) of this increase is due to increased spending on electronics and dorm furnishings. Total back-to-college spending is expected to reach a record $71 billion, up from $67.7 billion in 2020. 

According to the survey, as of early July more than half (51 percent) of K-12 and college shoppers have begun shopping for the items they will need when classes resume later this year. And 39 percent say they took advantage of recent sale events such as Prime Day, Target Deal Days and Walmart's Deals for Days to shop specifically for school items. 

However, there is still plenty of shopping left to do. The vast majority (76 percent) of K-12 shoppers were still waiting on lists for school supplies as of earlier this month. 

On average, consumers reported that they had completed only 18 percent of their back-to-class purchases so far by early July. Among those with at least half of their shopping left to complete, 51 percent said it was because they did not yet know what they will need and 48 percent said they were still waiting for the best deals. Additionally, 43 percent of all back-to-class shoppers say they plan to use money they received from government stimulus to purchase items for the upcoming school year. 

While families are planning to spend more on K-12 students in every category, electronics and clothing saw the biggest increases. Back-to-school shoppers plan to spend $21 more on average on electronics this year compared with 2020 and $19 more on clothes. Of those planning to purchase electronics, half (49 percent) plan to buy a laptop, followed by a calculator (32 percent) and a tablet (31 percent). 

“Consumers are spending more on items like electronics and clothing as they make plans for students to resume activities in person this fall,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “For those in particular with children in elementary to high school, shoppers are putting the largest portion of their budgets toward electronics, new clothes and accessories.”

While online shopping remains a top destination for back-to-school shopping, families are much more comfortable shopping in store this year than last year during the peak of the pandemic.

The most popular destinations for K-12 shoppers are online (48 percent), department stores (48 percent), discount stores (44 percent), clothing stores (41 percent), office supplies stores (27 percent) and electronics stores (27 percent). 

The top destinations for college shoppers include online (43 percent), department stores (33 percent), discount stores (30 percent), office supplies stores (29 percent) and college bookstores (28 percent). 

The survey of 7,704 consumers was conducted July 1-July 8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Source: National Retail Federation

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Employment situation in the U.S. in June 2021 due to Corona pandemic...
20.07.2021   #brick and mortar retail #retail

Employment situation in the U.S. in June 2021 due to Corona pandemic

Worse numbers compared to pre-pandemic level but recovery is in progress

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 850,000 in June 2021 compared to May, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, public ...

Thumbnail-Photo: One-third of consumers will increasingly use buy online, pickup-in store...
13.04.2021   #coronavirus #services

One-third of consumers will increasingly use buy online, pickup-in store services

Consumer surveys on order pick-up preferences and BOPIS

The global pandemic has drastically changed consumer behaviors – most notably, the way in which we shop. In fact, U.S. ecommerce sales increased more last year than they have in the past two decades – and Buy Online, Pickup In-Store ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Livestream shopping: the sales channel of the future?...
03.05.2021   #e-commerce #mobile shopping

Livestream shopping: the sales channel of the future?

Interview with Alex von Harsdorf, Co-Founder and CEO of LIVEBUY

In Asia, and especially in China, livestream shopping has already been widespread for years. 10 percent of e-commerce sales are generated via livestream shopping, and experts predict that this share will rise to at least 25 percent in the near ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Magical shopping experience
10.06.2021   #customer satisfaction #app

Magical shopping experience

Finally Harry Potter fans can visit the official Harry Potter flagship store New York City

Harry Potter New York will set a new standard for themed retail, combining breath-taking design, exquisite craftsmanship, hand-crafted props, exciting interactive elements and exclusive products - inviting fans to experience the Wizarding World in a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Shopping experience with interactive digital signage applications...
25.05.2021   #digital signage #brick and mortar retail

Shopping experience with interactive digital signage applications

Using lift & learn features and smart mirrors to activate customers

The advantage in traditional stores: customers can examine the items and pick them up. The advantage in e-commerce: There is a wide range of products and information. With the use of digital signage solutions, these two advantages can be ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Benefits of investing in physical stores
28.06.2021   #e-commerce #brick and mortar retail

Benefits of investing in physical stores

The role of physical stores for selling "deep" products

Researchers from Colorado State University, Amazon, and Dartmouth College published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines the role of physical stores for selling "deep" products.The study, forthcoming in the Journal of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Transformation of supply chain network
23.07.2021   #logistics (software) #supply chain management

Transformation of supply chain network

Kroger and KNAPP expand the Great Lakes Distribution Center

The Kroger Co. and KNAPP, provider of intelligent automation and specialized software solutions, announced their agreement to deploy, expand, and enhance the capabilities and capacity of the retailer's existing Great Lakes Distribution Center in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Development of Hainan global smart supply chain pilot zone...
21.06.2021   #retail #logistic solutions

Development of Hainan global smart supply chain pilot zone

Cainiao will be supporting Hainan’s logistics infrastructure development to attract over 1,000 duty-free merchants to the island

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (“Cainiao”), the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, announced at its annual Global Smart Logistics Summit 2021 that it has entered a strategic partnership with the Hainan government to support ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New type of pedestrian drive
14.06.2021   #e-commerce #customer satisfaction

New type of pedestrian drive

Carrefour partners with La Poste to launch the Pickup drive

Carrefour has teamed up with La Poste via its subsidiary Pickup to create a new nationwide partnership to launch a new Pedestrian drive business model. Henceforth, customers will be able to visit “Pickup drives” to access several local ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Hot on the trail of the newest trends
04.06.2021   #e-commerce #customer satisfaction

Hot on the trail of the newest trends

OTTO uses a new in-house tool for trend research

Together with Google, the online retailer OTTO has developed a dashboard that helps identify "whitespots" - missing brands and products. The tool called MANGO builds on Google's Merchant Analytics Center and, in addition to its own ...

Supplier

Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
Navori Labs
Navori Labs
Rue du lion d'or 4
1003 Lausanne