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68% of Parents Say Back-to-School Sales Offer Real Savings [New Data]

Back-to-school is one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year. But after last year’s unprecedented school year, students—and their parents—have different needs in preparing for in-person classes. What does this transition mean for back-to-school shopping?

Our latest consumer study looks into what back-to-school shopping will look like for families in the upcoming school year. We surveyed 1,100+ US parents with school-age children about their shopping plans, perspectives, and what protection they get on back-to-school products.Read on for the highlights or download the full study here.

Savings and Convenience: The Top Priorities for Back-to-School Shoppers

The start of a new school year regularly requires additional supplies for students in elementary through college. But parents have other reasons for saving their purchases until back-to-school season. Nearly seven out of ten parents (68%) think back-to-school sales offer real savings. With the large number of retailers offering deals in time for the school year, parents are eager to take advantage of discounts.

Ecommerce has always been a great solution for parents looking for convenience. When it comes to where to shop, 60% of parents plan to do most of their back-to-school shopping online. Shopping in multiple categories and for multiple children can make the convenience of online retail options even more appealing.

The items parents are planning to put in their carts are a little different this year from last year. Planned clothes and shoes shopping is up for this year. Electronics purchases are down by as much as 15% compared to last year. 

With a return to in-person school from the online or hybrid environments students had last year, students’ needs have changed. Parents are planning purchases to provide their child the wardrobe they need for face-to-face school rather than the equipment required for online class.

Budget Is the Main Source of Frustration for Shoppers

Back-to-school shopping is an annual tradition, but it’s not always happily anticipated. More than a third of parents (35%) don’t look forward to back-to-school shopping with their child. Their main source of stress? Budget conflicts.

The cost of purchasing that long list of supplies, as well as parent-child disagreements about spending, can make for a dreaded shopping experience. Half of parents would rather put their back-to-school budget towards other things.

Damage Is Common, and Product Protection Is the Solution

Parents of children of all ages have to deal with product damage, and back-to-school purchases are no exception. A whopping 84% have had their child damage or misplace electronics or furniture. Whether it’s furnishing a college dorm room or getting electronics for elementary school work, products for students come with a higher risk of damage.

And that risk can lead to some unpleasant consequences. More than four out of ten parents (43%) have regretted not purchasing a product protection plan. For parents concerned about budget, the expense of having to replace a damaged or misplaced item can be a big burden.

As parents are going for back-to-school shopping options, ecommerce offers the convenience and savings that parents look for. Budget can be a point of stress, and discounts on products that both parents and students love can be a huge selling point.

But you have to make sure that your product offerings have the value that parents look for. Parents know that purchasing for their children comes with a higher risk of damage. The option for budget-friendly product coverage can help prevent regrets and take the stress out of the shopping experience.

Parents are looking to put their back-to-school budget towards products that will last. Product protection is the best way to cover those purchases so they can be prepared for whatever their kids throw at them this school year.

To review the full results of the study, download the PDF here.

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Janessa McQuivey

About the author

Janessa McQuivey is the Content Marketing Manager at Mulberry. Her degree in Human Development fueled a love of understanding customer experience. She has been in research and writing for 3 years and has covered everything from AI technology to her own dating life. Janessa has published across blogs, newspapers, and academic journals.

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