Now that summer is over, parents are busy shopping for their children’s school uniforms, shoes, backpacks, and other supplies in preparation for this school year.
Parents spent close to £1 billion in back-to-school shopping last year, making it the UK’s third largest shopping event, next to Black Friday and Christmas, according to Mintel.
The research company said a total of £436 million was spent on school uniforms and shoes, £164 million on sportswear, and £143 million on lunch boxes and computing equipment.
Chana Baram, research analyst at Mintel, said:
“Back to school is a major shopping event for the nation’s retailers, beaten only by Black Friday and Christmas. Spending on back to school is being driven by rising inflation, the increased cost of childrenswear and stationery, and a boost to the back-to-school population caused by a previous boom in birth rates and the decision to raise the school leaving age to 18 in 2015.”
And since their kids want stuff that is on trend, Britain’s parents spend more money to purchase branded items, even if it means exceeding their back-to-school budget.
Advertising campaigns from popular brands have a strong influence on the buying decisions of customers, says Baram.
What parents are looking for
Online retailers can enjoy a financial windfall from back-to-school shopping if they properly address the needs of their potential customers.
Mintel’s study shows that the quality of a product tops the list of 43% of shoppers, followed by stock availability (36%), and consistent sizing (34%).
Although most parents still prefer to buy school uniforms and shoes at department stores, the busy ones are a lucrative target market for eCommerce website owners like you.
It pays to have a back-to-school category on your website that has a whole range of school-related items, including backpacks, stationery, lunch boxes, and hoodies among others.
The ability to offer what people buy in bricks-and-mortar shops, and simplify their overall shopping experience, is to your advantage.
Are you ready for the back-to-school shopping season? Let us know the preparations you’ve made so far in the comments below.
To your continued success,
Dave & Matt