The 2017 Back to School Survey

The 2017 Back to School Survey by Deloitte tells why you should switch for Ecommerce site

Deloitte has recently released their survey result on Back to School Shopping. The shopping season which accounts for 50% of school related spend touches 25% of US households. This is evident when you consider the population of US accounts 24% to children between the age group of 0-18. [Source :]. The second biggest shopping season is valued at $27 Billion touching 53 million children across 29 million households.

Even though 2017 saw the in-store shopping value outplay online shopping by 50%, the Digital influence across the customer journey saw a steep rise. Customers expect the physical store and the online store to complement each other. Both computers and smart phones are used widely during the purchase journey yet, the payments are done more via a computer/Laptop. The surprising find is about the rise in Social media usage. People use to find Promotional coupons and other gift vouchers online.

The new inclusion in the finding is the expectation to have in-store digital technologies to ease the shopping experience. For example, elemental wellness centre had a touch enable monitor in their shops which will display only the ecommerce part of their website. Customers can place their order without visiting the shelves. They checkout and payment can be done within the shop physically. [Read more about this here]

Looking by geography, the south region is clearly a winner by a long margin with an average order value of $554. The National average is $501. The south region is followed by North with an average order value of $443.

North East and West states have an equal share of 18% in the total B2S send but the order differs with North east leading the West side by $58.

When it comes to categories, there are four major categories of shopping. School supplies, Clothing accessories, Computer and Hardware and Electronic Gadgets.

Computer hardware has the highest average spend of $307 and comprises of Computers, Printers, Software and other accessories.

Clothing and Accessories are second with an average value of $284, Clothing, shoes, uniforms, Jewellery etc.

Electronic Gadgets sits 3rd with a value of $253, includes Smarphone, tablet, readers and wearable technologies.

The last one in the lot are School supplies with a value of $104, holding Scholl supplies and accessories.

One can infer that though 98% people purchase for school supply and hardly 23% purchase Computer and Hardware, the latter has a huge, market value due to the hefty order value.

Digitalization helps customers in five major ways.

  • To access the website and check the Brand Image and Product info
  • To get price information across vendors
  • Compare products from multiple brands and do a product research
  • Look out for Coupons, gift vouchers and other offers available online
  • Commit a purchase of the product

These characteristics of a customer in digital space implies the need a seller has to satisfy through his digital presence.

In addition to this, the usage of smart phone and tablets are on the rise. The website has to be responsive to apprehend to all channels (Mobile, tablet, Smart tv etc.) Apart from this, Fee shipping, instore return, Loyalty programs are few other options which drives online shopping by a customer.

Social media is another key factor which is on the rise over the past few years. Brands use Social media to engage with the customer in a better and easier way.

The key is to maintain a uniform Brand Image across the Social handles and integrate the Brand communication across channels. The above image gives a detailed list of how customers use the social media channels in their purchase journey.

With the increasing usage through mobile responsive sites, Back to School shopping is one of the key areas in online retail sales. Searching Back to School shopping in Google, 60% of the results in page 1 are from ecommerce sites. Its high time people start exploring the opportunity in online medium.