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What’s on the list for Back to School shoppers?

School’s out for summer, the kids have kicked off those school shoes, tossed aside their books and already packed in some fun activities for the 6 weeks ahead. While millions of students take time out from the monotony of classrooms, parents are already gearing up for their return to school.

The age of digital shopping has lunged to a new level, shopping habits and behaviours have adapted over the last 2 years and consumers have become savvier. As Brits prepare their Back to School checklists and shop the season’s must-haves, we look into the top purchases they’ll be making, how they make these choices and where they’ll turn to for their supplies.

With school uniforms being a mandatory requirement for British schools, it’s no surprise that this is top of the list (83%) for most parents followed by stationery (63%) and bags (57%).

Having come through the other side of the pandemic and the risk of future lockdowns unlikely, IT and electronics have become a lower priority and appeared on only 14% of Back to School shopping lists.   

So what’s been driving purchase decisions? Price topped the list with almost ¾ of British Back to School shoppers naming this a key influencer, along with 40% saying retailer promotions.  

The current cost of living crisis has led many Brits to shop smarter. Over half of shoppers said they will be scouting for special offers and nearly said they plan to make purchases with discounted or free shipping such as click and collect in order to keep a handle on costs.   

Online advertising content has grown rapidly over the years and almost ¼ of shoppers say videos, shopping blogs, social media trends and influencers shape their purchase decisions. 

Over 6 in 10 Brits will be looking to make their purchases via online video advertising, social media shopping and in-app purchases.

Amazon continues to be the hot favourite marketplace, with almost half of Back to School shoppers looking to shop here, followed by Ebay (23%) and Facebook marketplace (20%).

(Based on a survey of 302 British parents of 4–18 year olds who plan to shop during this upcoming Back to School period.)