Back To School Creates Several Headaches For Mom

According to a new study by SheKnows, about moms and the get ready process for back to school, shopping isn’t the only source of back-to-school headaches. Most moms are more concerned about their kids than they are about shopping. Behavior in class, bullying and fitting in are the top three concerns.

These top school year concerns on moms’ minds include 41% worrying about their children paying attention and behaving in class, 39% fearing bullies, and 34% worried about their children’s ability to make new friends and/or fit in.

At the same time, though, Moms’ wish list of more involvement this upcoming school year includes 42% spending more time on their children’s homework, 39% becoming more involved in their school, and 27% planning to chaperone a school field trip

More than half of the moms responding use back to school shopping as an opportunity to each their kids about the value of money as they spend more on their children’s wardrobe than their own, and more on clothes than school supplies. And, though 58% of their kids are excited to start the new school year, a third of the moms are having a hard time letting their children go, says the report.

Moms also yearn for more time to help kids with homework, volunteer and chaperone school trips. It wouldn't be back-to-school season without a few shopping meltdowns though, says the report. School dress codes and insane supply lists can bring the savviest of moms down. The study found that over half hadn't budgeted for back-to-school shopping. The study included the majority of moms with one to two kids in their household with 63% of them entering into elementary school (K-5th grade) the upcoming school year, 44% going into high school (9th – 12th grades), and 36% to middle school (6th – 8th grades)

Considering moms’ shopping habits:

  • 59% plan to spend $51 to $250 on clothing/shoes, though 37% plan for spending $101 to $250
  • 77% plan to spend $1 to $100 on school supplies with 43% planning $1 to $50
  • 61% are not putting electronics on their shopping list this upcoming school year, though…

Moms find different electronic devices appropriate at different grade levels:

  • 63% feel it’s appropriate for children in elementary to middle school to own a desktop
  • 65% will hold off laptops until they are between middle to high school ages
  • 42% think it’s appropriate for younger children in elementary school to own music devices, and 39% think e-readers are OK
  • 44% say Smartphones start during middle school ages

 According to the report, moms prefer shopping in stores, but the preference between shopping in stores versus online depends on the product. And, when moms do shop online, 63% of them typically shop at home on their laptops:

  • For clothing & shoes, it’s relatively even split as 49% say in store only, but 45% expect a mix between stores and online
  • For school supplies, though, 77% prefer shopping in stores only
  • 58% turn to discount/mass merchant stores for clothing & shoes, and 79% will buy school supplies there.
  • 56% shop at retail, and 49% at department stores for clothing & shoes
  • 47% will shop at a drug store for school supplies

Required by the school is the most important factor in 42% of mom’s purchasing decision for BTS, followed by price (24%) and durability (22%). Moms are almost evenly split between making purchasing decision on their own, but sharing the decision with their kids when it comes to shopping for clothing/shoes and school supplies, whereas electronics purchasing decisions are made principally by moms, says the report.

 56% of moms and 50% of their children are not greatly influenced by social media when it comes to purchasing BTS products/brands, but 26% of moms who are influenced by social media are looking to see what their kids are talking about, and 23% follow brands’ social media account for deals and coupons.

24% of kids, though, are asking their friends about products and brands through social media. Moms are mostly using social media for coupons/deals (69%), product reviews (55%), and pricing information (54%) during BTS shopping season

Moms are typically using Facebook and Pinterest as their social media resources, while kids are using Facebook too, but are using more Instagram and YouTube in comparison to their moms.

Social Media For Back To School Shopping (% of Respondents)

Media

Moms Use

Kids Use

Facebook

73.1%

38.8%

Pinterest

32.3%

10.6%

YouTube

14.4%

25.5%

Twitter

14.4%

12.8%

Instagram

10.8%

26.6%

Source: SheKnows, July 2014

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