All evidence indicates that parents will be big spenders on back-to-school supplies this year, and new research from Valassis, a line of business of marketing solutions firm Vericast, examines the opportunity for retailers to influence purchasing behavior this season.
The firm’s newly released 2021 Back-to-School Outlook is based on responses from over 800 parents of K–12 or college students. The study indicates that parents this year are “savvy-pragmatists” energized by the future and eager to spend, but looking to shop smart.
Just over half (54 percent) of parents believe they will spend more on readying children for school. And while 60 percent of parents are interested in spending more on their children to make the start of this school year special, the impact of challenging economic conditions resulting from a global pandemic is driving a renewed focus on value with a clear desire for deals, discounts and sales year-round.
The study also showed the in-store experience will play an integral part in back-to-school shopping, with the majority of respondents indicating they plan to shop only or mostly in-store for everything from clothing and accessories to supplies and electronics.
These findings reveal there is tremendous opportunity for marketers to influence back-to-school purchasing with compelling coupons and discounts delivered in the right channels for parents. Marketers can also address the need for convenience and exceptional in-store shopping experiences by identifying new ways to expedite purchases and add value before and during the path to purchase.
“This back-to-school season is a milestone for many parents as some students return to in-person learning for the first time in over a year,” said Sarah O’Grady, vice president of brand marketing at Vericast, in a news release. “This presents the ultimate opportunity for marketers and retailers to listen and respond to the needs of parents. Retailers who make the right moves now could ensure a lifetime of loyalty from grateful parents who seek empathy and prioritize value and safety during a time of uncertainty.”
The Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study is an ongoing study fielded in conjunction with Prosper Insights & Analytics, a global market research company. The sample was derived via an online survey and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. The data included in this report was fielded June 1 through June 6, 2021 to more than 800 parents of K–12 or college students. Data is balanced by age and gender.