Back-to-school sales are expected to rise between 3.2 and 3.7 percent this year from July through September. This lift is in part due to 59 percent of parents and 40 percent of college students who say they are extremely confident or very confident with their own financial situation.
In total, BTS spending is expected to reach $75.8 billion this year.
According to an annual back-to-school survey by Synchrony Financial, clothing and electronics will represent the majority of BTS spending for most families and more than a third expect to spend more in both categories this year. Longer supply lists and more technology needs are driving this increased spending.
"Price and value continue to influence where shoppers buy for back-to-school," said Bart Schaller, EVP and chief marketing officer, Synchrony Financial. "We consistently find shoppers are deal-driven and value the additional savings, rewards and benefits credit cards can offer."
Almost half of parents have started BTS shopping, but 51 percent, along with 67 percent of college students, plan to buy most of their supplies after August 1. Most consumers surveyed – 65 percent of parents and 61 percent of college students – will make a majority of their purchases in-store.
Looking for deals begins online for 62 percent of parents and 70 percent of college students. Mobile phones are growing in their role, as 40 percent of parents (up from 34 percent last year) will use their phones to search for deals. In fact, according to another recent study by Retale, 89 percent of parents will make purchases based on mobile promotions.
When it's time to purchase, 35 percent of parents will be buying online, but just 8 percent will use their phones. Nearly 40 percent of college students plan to make purchases online, 10 percent using their phones.
- see this Synchrony Financial press release
64% of college students plan to shop online for school supplies
Families to spend $76B on back to school
50M parents have started back-to-school shopping