InMobi, a leading provider of content, monetisation, and marketing technologies that help businesses fuel growth, released insights from its annual Back-to-School Survey targeted to over one thousand school shoppers across North America.
In an inflationary environment, consumers shopped less across all categories this year, and a significant proportion of respondents reported no increase or even reduced spending when compared to the previous year. Overall, consumers indicated shopping in-person less for back-to-school across categories, buying non-school-related items alongside their school-related purchases, and diversifying their retailer choices beyond big box stores.
This back-to-school season, retailers should know:
- This back-to-school season opens opportunities for sales from digital channels. Consumers shopped in-person remarkably less for school supplies, snacks, and apparel overall in comparison to 2022. Notably, consumers shopped in-person 6% less for school supplies and 7% less for snacks. While in-person shopping decreased year-over-year, there wasn't a consequential shift towards alternative methods, suggesting that existing online shoppers are diversifying their shopping behaviour, either in terms of the variety of products they purchase or by broadening their online retailer options. As in-person shopping was significantly higher across categories for back-to-school 2022, this opens opportunities for digital shopping this season.
- There is a pivotal opportunity for retailers to enhance their revenue streams through cross-selling. 57% of consumers indicate their inclination to purchase non-school-related items alongside their back-to-school shopping. This presents fertile ground for retailers to craft strategic bundles and offers that cater to diverse needs, unlocking not only higher sales but also elevating customer satisfaction.
- Consumers expand beyond traditional retail giants for school supplies. Walmart still reigns supreme in back-to-school shopping, yet the survey highlights a decline in its appeal when shopping for school supplies. Despite retaining its position as the top choice for supply shopping (59%), there is a notable year-over-year dip of seven percentage points. Remarkably, this shift hasn't translated to a widespread migration to alternative retailers, suggesting that existing online shoppers are opting for diversification by expanding their purchases beyond Walmart.
Jeff Williams, Vertical Strategy Lead, CPG & Pharma, highlights that "inflationary pressures during this year’s back-to-school shopping suggest that consumers may be buying less because they are spending more. By harnessing the digital wave, and offering discounts and promotions through apps, stores can gain loyalty, increase sales, and forge deeper connections with consumers during this pivotal shopping season."
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