Back-to-School Shoppers Still Very Cost-Conscious
According to the Synchrony Financial 2015 Back-To-School Shopping Study, parents and college students are actively searching for the best deals on school supplies, despite being confident about their finances for the upcoming school year.
Value is the most important factor in deciding where to shop for back-to-school items. This includes price, quality and special deals.
More than half of the participants said they would be hunting for bargains online, but supplies are most likely to be purchased in-store by an overwhelming majority of respondents: 80% of college parents, 74% of college students, and 77% of K-12 parents.
Spending habits and financial strategies vary based on the age of the student. 49% of parents for K-12 students plan to spend more in 2015 than they did in 2014. Comparably, 33% of parents with college students and only 27% of college students paying for themselves plan to spend more on school supplies this year. In fact, 83% of college students plan to reuse what they have where possible.
For all groups, clothing remained the top purchase for back to school supplies. This category represents 41% of purchases for K-12 parents, and 30% of purchases for parents of college students. Electronics showed similar numbers for college students and parents of college students (both just under 27%), but it dropped slightly for K-12 parents (22%).
Parents and college students looking to make the most of their back to school shopping should explore the rewards and cash back offers for their credit card providers. For instance, Discover is offering 5% cash back on department store and Amazon.com purchases through the month of September as part of its rotating rewards categories.
The study was conducted during the second week in July with over 2,000 participants