Back to school shopping lists look different this year.

This is, in part, because school districts and colleges are preparing to offer a hybrid of online and offline classes in an effort to keep students and faculty as safe as possible.

That’s going to create opportunities for retailers and brands who do the homework needed to adjust their strategies.

Rakuten Advertising surveyed 779 back-to-school shoppers to find out what they’re buying and where they’re planning on shopping.

What are back-to-school shoppers buying?

Top Products on Back to School Shopping List

One thing we found – Where traditional items like notebooks and backpacks might have been atop shoppers’ lists in previous years, that’s not necessarily the case this year.

That’s going to create opportunities for retailers to sell different types of products to more back-to-school shoppers – provided they position those products correctly.

Where are back-to-school shoppers buying?

Shopping Behaviors Span Online and Offline

Much as this year is expected to be an omnichannel school year, with students taking classes online some days and in person on others, this back-school shopping season is a true omnichannel one.

Our survey revealed that 85% of shoppers will be conducting at least a portion of their shopping online. With the rise of buy online and pick up in store, as well as the fast adoption of curbside pickup, brands should ensure that their website and mobile app are optimized to handle the variety of new ways that consumers are shopping today.

What this means:

  • Just as school districts across the country are preparing for hybrid learning plans, retailers and brands should present offers that feature products that help students prepare for learning in both types of environments.
  • Content publishers in particular can use tools such as Rakuten Advertising’s Curate to create specific buying guides that have products appealing to learners in multiple environments.
  • With 78% of consumers being affected financially by the pandemic, coupon and loyalty publishers have a greater opportunity to generate more traffic given that back-to-school shoppers are likely to seek out deals.

Download the Back to School Survey today to learn more.