The back-to-school shopping season isn’t about one-stop shopping, reports The NPD Group. Back-to-school shoppers in the U.S. make an average of 16 trips to purchase back-to-school related products between July and September, according to NPD’s receipt mining service, Checkout TrackingSM.
Retailers are competing across a crowd of product categories for a fraction of each back-to-school shopper’s spending. A third of consumers who made purchases between July and September 2016 were back-to-school shoppers — making purchases in product categories related to back-to-school or back-to-college needs, according to The NPD Group.
NPD’s Checkout Tracking information reveals that during the 16 shopping visits made, on average those shoppers spent $492 on things like apparel, footwear, office supplies, technology, sports equipment, appliances, housewares, and home textiles.
Almost all back-to-school shoppers purchased a back-to-school item at a mass merchant last year, and they spent the most at mass merchants and electronics stores, each with an average spend per buyer that was more than $160 for the season, reports The NPD Group.
Repeat visits to a retailer aren’t out of the question, but they are not plentiful. During the 2016 season, the 16 back-to-school shopping trips made by shoppers were spread out over an average of seven different retailers, according to NPD’s Checkout Tracking service.
“Back-to-school marketing is noisier than school recess, and getting the attention of this shopper is just the beginning,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, Inc. “Retailers will fare well if they extend the shopping season and nurture their relationship with the back-to-school consumer, ensuring they stay top of mind and get the repeat visit later in the season.”