Commentary

Moms And Back-To-School Spending

Back-to-school shopping season is in full swing, and moms are actively filling their baskets with products for the first day of classes. We surveyed 975+ mothers from across the United States to uncover trends and insights into how they expect to spend their money this year. With 70 percent of moms expecting to spend more than $100 per child, there’s a lot to be gained in understanding their behaviors. Here’s a list of some of the results and tips on how marketers can capture Mom’s spending.

1. Not all schools begin after Labor Day; in fact, most start in August. Eighty-eight percent of moms have done their shopping by the end of August. Thirty percent say they complete their shopping within two weeks of the first bell. Marketers need to know when school begins in their most important markets and align their advertising with this date.

2. Seventy-four percent of moms get recommendations from friends on what they buy for school, with over half of that information gathered via Facebook.

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3. Eighty-five percent of moms donate school supplies to the classroom. It may surprise some to learn that the most donated items are cleaning supplies, paper towels, tissues, and printer ink. Retailers should position these items close to the crayons and pencils to make it easy for mothers to find.

4. Stocking the clothes closet is high on the list for moms. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed expect to spend more than $151 per child. Forty-six percent of moms will purchase sneakers for their children, and 38% intend to buy socks as well.

5. Moms are looking for back-to-school deals. Although friends are the greatest source of information about deals, 46% of moms say they find deals in emails from retailers and brands. This is a reminder to marketers that email is still a viable marketing tactic for reaching mothers.

6. The lunchbox is an opportunity to connect with moms. Sixty-eight percent of moms expect to pack a daily lunch for their children. Food brands may want to update their Pinterest boards because 58% of moms report they will go to the platform for ideas throughout the year.

7. Moms are shopping for more than school supplies for their kids. Forty-eight percent purchase organizational items for the home, with plastic bins topping the list. Nearly 30% stock up on paper towels this time of year.

8. A picture is worth a 1,000 words. A staggering 94% will take a first day of school photo of their child. Their motivation is sharing their child’s journey with friends, demonstrating their own pride in their child, and chronicling their family’s activities. 

It’s not too late to tweak your marketing plan if you aren’t capturing the spending of moms. Email, Pinterest, and Facebook are where I recommend focusing your online strategy by offering today’s busy mother with solutions her lack of time and money.

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