July 16, 2019


by: Jane


Categories: Back to school, Retail Trends

Completely Obvious ‘Back to School’ Study


As a lifelong consultant I understand the value of a shareable study and a quoteable metric, but sometimes you look at a piece of work and think ‘Really? that wasn’t already blindingly obvious to you?’

Let me give you the context; it’s coming to the end of school season and that familiar dread sets in – ‘Back to school’ shopping. The annual bonfire of parental pay checks for products equally despised by parents and offspring alike (Aside from the obligatory 1st day back social media posts)

Deloitte’s have published an analysis of ‘Back to school’ spending patterns and a forecast of channel specific behaviours for this season. You’ll be completely un-amazed to know that price will be the most significant factor in most parents purchase decisions. Even less of a shocker is the finding that we’ll try and stay out of stores and do as much as possible on our mobiles.

What was surprising was the low expectation around the use of digital assistants and advanced technologies to facilitate the purchase process. Personally I’d pay to see an AI driven shopping assistant negotiate the purchase of a pair of sensible black shoes with my teenage daughter. I’d equally appreciate the use of VR if it meant I could escape the hellish reality of trying to find perfectly standard sized shirts and trousers which appear to have vanished from every department store at midnight on the 1st September.

Another wholly unsurprising set of statistics centres around the analysis of influence of children on parents’ back to school shopping expenditure. Unless you’re a parent who resorts to beta blockers, you’ll know the pointlessness of trying to resist relentless demands from a focused teen. Brexit would be sorted tomorrow if you put a bunch of them in charge and told them that if they failed they’d have to go to school without a single logo on their kit.

Anyway, if you’ld like to see for yourself whether the numbers are intriguing or blindingly obvious, you can find the report here: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/consumer-business/us-cb-2019-back-to-school-report.pdf