This post was originally published on May 4th, 2017.
Hearing “back-to-school” ignites memories of crisp notebooks, carefully selecting a new backpack, and agonizing over the perfect outfit for classroom debuts. For parents and teachers, the phrase prompts memories of budgets, extensive planning and bargain-hunting. The one thing they have in common? We tend to think of back to school as a late-summer event; in lock-step with fireworks and barbecues and sprinklers.
And there’s substantial shopping data to back up that notion. BTS purchases spike in August, with 124% higher online BTS sales than June1. Consumer spending for BTS and BTC will exceed $75B this season as US students and teachers return to the classroom and trigger a massive retail shift2.
But what happens after the bell rings? As it turns out, a whole heck of a lot. That’s why we’ve compiled a go-to resource for year-round school season insights and marketing opportunities. Here’s a taste of what we found –
Students, teachers, and the parents of students take advantage of regularly scheduled breaks in the academic schedule for getaways. February and March are big for travel planning and spending. Half of families with children will spend over $2,500 on family vacations3. As for college spring breakers? Annual spending amounts to more than $1B4.
Looking good isn’t cheap, and the stakes for students can be pretty high – yearbooks last forever! Accordingly, 35% of BTS spending goes towards student clothing & accessories.2 But students don themselves in more than the basics. Extracurricular activities run year-round, and gear – like equipment and uniforms – run over $400 per child5. But that’s not all. As the school year comes to a close in May and June, students start getting fancy for year-end dances; prom tops the charts, costing families an average of $900 per student6.
Students, teachers, and parents alike are not short on reasons to be grateful or commend accomplishments throughout the year. Late Fall is high time for spending on teacher appreciation; 50% of teacher gifts are purchased in November1. Early winter (December) and late Spring (May/June) bring on the graduation dollars; consumer spending on graduation gifts exceeded $5.4B in 20167. Cheers!
We’re just getting started. Want to find out what else the School Season has in store for shoppers? Check out our School Season Calendar: “School Season is More than Back-to-School” for monthly insights.
1 Magnetic; Proprietary Shopper Data; Jan. – Dec. 2016 2 NRF, Back-to-School Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 2016 3 Family Travel Association & Scholastic; Feb. – May 2015 4 Spend Matters, Spring Break spending stats, 2015 5 American Express and Ebiquity; American Express Spending and Saving Tracker 2016 6 2015 Visa Prom Spending Survey 7 NRF, Graduation Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 2016
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