30% of Shoppers Consider Name Brand Important in School Supplies; 34% Plan to Finish Back-to-School Shopping in One Day

CHICAGO, August 14, 2023 (GlobeNewswire) – Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has released its 2023 Back-to-School Preview, sourced from a sentiment survey of 1,200 consumers who plan to make back-to-school purchases this year, with results segmented by their child(ren)’s grade level. Overall, the majority of these consumers plan to shop at brick-and-mortar mass retailers, one-third plan to base their shopping on a school’s recommended supply list, and 32% expect their back-to-school spend to increase compared to 2022.

  • Back-to-school shoppers are more likely to be purchasing supplies for younger children. Over half of consumers (51%) are shopping for K-5th grade, 35% are shopping for 6-8th grade, and 46% are shopping for 9-12th grade.
  • More than one-third of back-to-school shoppers rely on their school’s recommended supply list. The top planned school supply purchases are pens and pencils (80%), paper / notebooks (80%), shoes or clothes (78%), and folders / binders (75%). 37% of shoppers will use a list of items provided by their child(ren)’s school to shop for supplies.
  • Parents might be shopping, but children are influencing the purchases. 32% of consumers shopping for 9-12th graders will allow them to have input on all school supplies, compared to just 15% for those with K-5th grade children and 18% with 6-8th grade children.
  • The majority of consumers prefer to shop in-store for back-to-school items. 69% plan to buy their supplies in-store, 17% plan to buy online and have the items delivered, and 9% plan to buy online for in-store pickup.
  • Mass retailers win with back-to-school shoppers. 80% of shoppers say they will buy their supplies at mass retailers (e.g. Walmart, Target, etc.), 20% plan to shop at dollar stores, and 15% at club stores.
  • The importance of name-brand school supplies varies by category and age of student. Almost one-third (30%) of all shoppers consider name-brand supplies important. Among this group, those with children in K-5th grades care more about name-brand art supplies (80%), while shoppers with kids in 9-12th grade are more likely to find name brand important for electronics (85%) and apparel (85%)
  • Shoppers want to finish back-to-school shopping quickly and early. 34% of back-to-school shoppers say they will try and get all shopping done in one day or trip. 86% plan to be done shopping by early August, while only 2% say they will continue shopping until September or later.
  • Over half of back-to-school shoppers will spend over $100 on supplies. 57% plan to spend over $100 on school supplies this year, and 38% of consumers with children in 9-12th grade will spend over $200.
  • About one-third of consumers expect to spend more on back-to-school items this year than last year. While 55% of consumers say they spend roughly the same amount as last year, 32% expect their spend to increase, and 14% expect to spend less.
    • Nearly half of back-to-school shoppers plan to shop sales. Consumers are looking to save on back-to-school spending by shopping sales (45%), using coupons (35%), comparing prices (34%), and reusing old supplies (33%).

Numerator’s 2023 Back-to-School Survey was fielded between 7/12/2023-7/14/2023 to 1,200 individuals.

About Numerator:

Numerator is a data and tech company bringing speed and scale to market research.  Numerator blends first-party data from over 1 million US households with advanced technology to provide 360-degree consumer understanding for the market research industry that has been slow to change. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has 2,000 employees worldwide; 80 of the top 100 CPG brands’ manufacturers are Numerator clients.


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