2015 back-to-school survey

Reading, writing, and retail

The start of the school year is near. While there is still a need to get back to the basics with pencils and textbooks, digital influences continue to increase and device ownership is at an all-time high.

Explore the retail survey findings

Parents’ household financial situation is holding consistent with last year, and so too is families’ average spending on school supplies. In addition, cyber security continues to be top of mind, as the majority of consumers demonstrate concerns about the protection of their personal data. These trends and more are highlighted in our latest surveys.

Deloitte’s eighth annual back-to-school survey and its third annual back-to-college survey reveal the latest trends likely to impact spending for US parents with children in grades K-12 and college.

Findings include:
  • While discount/value department stores remain the top shopping destination, online shopping continues to increase and now takes sole possession of second place as one of the most popular shopping environments for parents of K-12 children–and third place for parents of college students.
  • More people may take their time to finish their shopping lists, as nearly one-third (31 percent) plan to complete their back-to-school shopping after the start of the school year, a 5 percentage point increase from 2014.
  • The impact of social media on the back-to-school selling season continues to decrease, and the vast majority are not intending to use it for shopping assistance.

Read the press release for more insights, including how consumers are deciding that back-to-school shopping can wait.

Infographic: Back-to-school 2015

Back-to-school infographic

Download the infographic

Download the back-to-school 2015 infographic

Deloitte surveyed over 1,000 US parents with students in grades K-12 between July 5 and 8, 2015 to determine back-to-school shopping trends this season.

Findings include:
  • Parents’ average spending is expected to remain relatively flat, increasing only $5 to $375 this year.
  • Among smart phone owners, 8 in 10 (80 percent) will use them to shop for back-to-school items–an increase of 6 percentage points over 2014.
  • More than two-thirds (68 percent) of consumers are concerned about their personal data security when shopping online, compared with 50 percent shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.

Infographic: Back-to-college 2015

​Back-to-college infographic

Download the inforgraphic

​Download the 2015 back-to-college infographic

Deloitte surveyed 450 US parents of college children between July 5 and 13, 2015 to determine back-to-college shopping trends this season.

Findings include:
  • 90 percent of college students now own a smart phone.
  • Families (including children) will spend on average $1,313 this back-to-college season compared with $1,223 in 2014.
  • 86 percent of college students will likely buy more used textbooks or textbook rentals to help stretch their back-to-college spending budget.

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