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It's time for back to school and that means retailers across the U.S. are getting ready for the start of the retail season. This year, shoppers are expected to spend $75.8 billion on supplies, apparel and electronics for back-to-school. That's an 11.5% increase from last year's spending of $68 billion, which should be encouraging to retailers online and off.

How Shoppers Are Spending on Back-to-School

With more that $7 billion on the table for back-to-school spending, retailers will want to know what back-to-school shoppers are planning to spend their money on. According to the NRF, K-12 buyers will likely focus more on items such as lunch boxes and pencils while college students are expected to spend even more with the need for bigger ticket items such as printers and laptops. Let’s break this spending down by product type.

That's a lot of money. And a big opportunity for retailers who sell these items.

In-Store or Online?

Now that we know of all what types of products back-to-school shoppers plan on buying, we need to know where shoppers plan on purchasing these products.

K-12 Buyers

  • 61% plan on buying from discount stores
  • 46% plan on buying online (big jump from last year's 36%)

Of those who are shopping online, 89% said they will take advantage of free shipping and 54% said they would use conveniences such as buying online and then picking up in the store.

College Buyers

  • 44% plan on buying from discount stores
  • 34% plan on buying from college bookstores
  • 38% plan on shopping online (slight drop from last year's 39%)

While discount stores are still king, this number of shoppers planning on buying from them this year reflects the lowest in the history of the survey.

Get Back to School Ready

Don’t miss out on your share of these back to school sales. It’s time to get your data feeds out of summer mode and take another look at your listings to make sure their accurate, optimized and ready to sell to all those back-to-school shoppers!