Moms Drop Back-To-School Budgets With COVID, But Stock Up On Masks, Health Aids

A majority of moms with school children (56%) will be spending less than they did in 2019, as they adjust to the on-going effects of COVID-19. A solid 5% plan to eliminate back-to-school shopping entirely, according to new research from BSM Media.

The average mom will spend $100 per child, with some of that spending dedicated to face masks. Eighty-five percent of mothers say their child owns at least two masks. In fact, moms report buying more masks, cleaning items and hand sanitizer than backpacks, totes or textbooks. A similar percentage (86%) will send their children to the classroom with hand sanitizer, 53% with sanitizing wipes and 21% with a small bottle of cleaner.

Moms still are buying the basics.

Three in four (77%) are buying pencils, pens and notebooks. However, 55% said they will not be buying the lunchboxes and backpacks that topped their 2019 lists. Another 45% have eliminated athletic equipment, dance gear and other extracurricular items from their back to school purchases this year.

Nearly eight in 10 (79%) of moms learn about back-to-school products on Facebook followed by Instagram. Email marketing captures the attention of 53% of mom shoppers with 12% admitting that TikTok influences their buying behaviors.

Importantly, just as their shopping lists have changed, moms are altering how they purchase these supplies. Three in four (77%) are first shopping on, followed by Target and Walmart, opting for curbside pick-up.

For those moms shopping in-store, 84% want the retailer to have visible signs they are sanitizing and controlling crowds. Moms cite lines as their fear, making them even reluctant to take their children with them into the store. All of these consideration are greater considerations for moms than the return policy of the store. That's a first since 2002, when BSM Media first conducted its annual back-to-school research.

This urgent focus on health suggests marketers must promote delivery and pick-up options, just as much as they do for their product selection, inventory and prices, states Maria Bailey, founder, BSM Media. “For marketers or advertising meant to drive in-store shopping, it’s imperative to include health precautions to make moms feel safe,” she adds.

Nearly half (45%) expect their children will attend online classes and only 21% believe they will return to the classroom. Two in 10 (20%) will be homeschooled during 2020. For kids that participate in these sports, 51% of moms don’t know if their kids will participate in extracurricular activities.

Next story loading loading..