Trending: Market Research Firm Publishes Back to School Shopping Insights Study

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Strategic consulting company, TrendSource, recently published a Back to School consumer insights study to identify purchasing behavior for the yearly phenomenon expected to rack in $72.5 billion in 2013.

TrendSource Trusted Insight

It’s that time of year again when families prepare for another milestone in the lives of their children – the next grade level. Although each new year delivers a twinge of anxiety for fear of the unknown, parents instill confidence and encourage their kids to embrace the exciting opportunities and knowledge that lie ahead. And how do parents do this? Through back-to-school shopping, of course! TrendSource’s consumer market research study found that 93% of families are shopping for 18 and under back-to-schoolers. So, what’s in the syllabus?

1.    School Supplies: Big Box Retailers Rule

School supplies are a back-to-school necessity. 95% of families have them on their list, budgeting $51-$150 for 1-2 kids, and are primarily heading to Big Box retailers (87%) to purchase them. Surprisingly, very few respondents are hitting grocery stores (13%); the next most popular shopping destination is office supply stores (56%), with online shopping ranking third (14%), barely above grocery stores.

2.    Apparel: Bundlers and Brand Junkies

What are students adorning themselves with this season? The 24% of shoppers who are brand-conscious are hunting for American Eagle, Aeropostale and Old Navy. The other 76% of shoppers are buying their fashionable frocks at the same store they grabbed pens and paper, bundling both at Big Box retailers. Families are planning on spending $151-$200 to outfit one to two school-bound shoppers.

3.    Accessories: Lunch Boxes, Backpacks and Big Box – Oh My!

It’s all about the box! 44% of families are in the market for a new lunchbox this season. Backpacks are the accessory of choice with 82% of respondents stating it was on their list. 85% of shoppers are headed to Big Box, followed by office supply stores (35%) with online retailers not too far behind at 28%.

4.    Technology: Apple and HP Top the Charts

Apple and HP are duking it out on the playground for lead brand status, tied at 31% a piece. Kids are on the go and don’t want to be tied down, so, as expected, laptops beat out desktops by 44%. Best Buy is the hot destination for tech purchases with 63% of tech shoppers stating it as their top stop and Walmart taking second at 38%. Although it is the last on the list for back-to-school purchases (only 47% of respondents), those who stated that they would be buying tech for the start of the school year slotted a budget of $300-$700.

5.    Don’t forget the topper…

A new haircut ranks high on the list of back-to-school necessities for shoppers: 80% of families are heading to the salon for a fresh ‘do for the school year.

The results of this shopper insights study have been summarized into an infographic, which can be viewed at

About TrendSource and This Study

TrendSource Trusted Insight provides business intelligence, customer experience insight, compliance solutions, and other market research and data analysis programs that deliver measurable ROI. With over twenty years of experience, TrendSource’s customized solutions deliver high quality Customer Experience Management Programs that quantify service gaps, provide prescriptive/corrective solutions, identify trends, and provide actionable solutions through enhanced reporting and analysis.    

TrendSource conducted this research study by surveying North American Field Agents in the MSI database between July 5th and July 14th, 2013. The results represent 1,285 online respondents who met the qualifying criteria of confirming intent to engage in back to school shopping for at least one person in their household this year. All respondents opted in to participate voluntarily.

TrendSource has the unique distinction as a market research organization that is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company.

For more information about this study or TrendSource’s services email: TrustedInsight(at)trendsource(dot)com.

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Jordan Bowditch
TrendSource, Inc.
+1 (619) 718-7467 Ext: 114
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