With inflation rising and a possible recession in our future, some good news has come out about back-to-school sales for 2022. Read on to learn how parents are changing their buying habits, what products are expected to be popular this year, and gain insights to position yourself to be at the top of the class with your back-to-school sales.
Inflation Is a Concern, But Shoppers Are Determined
After two years of disrupted back-to-school shopping because of COVID-19, this year, parents are ready to have a more “normal” shopping approach for their kids (even with the current economy).
According to Deloitte’s annual Back-to-School Survey, 57% of K-12 parents surveyed are concerned about inflation and the rising cost of school products. However, even with the financial concerns, back-to-school shopping is projected to increase to $34.4 billion this year, up 8% from last year - making it an all-time high.
Gold Star Products for 2022
With the growing economic concerns, back-to-school spending is experiencing a slight shift from previous years. In addition to traditional supplies, clothing, and accessories, here are some products that are expected to get a gold star from K-12 parents this year …
Gold Star: Mental Wellness Products
Half of the K-12 parents surveyed by Deloitte are concerned about their child’s current mental health because of the pandemic. As a result, K-12 parents plan to spend 8% more on products that promote mental wellness, along with items for extracurricular activities.
Gold Star: Environmentally Friendly Products
Parents are prioritizing environmentally friendly products in 2022. When available, most K-12 parents will choose sustainable products. They are also willing to spend more - nearly 20% more - on sustainable products.
The Outlook for Technology Buys for 2022
After two years of growth, spending on technology products will begin to wane for K-12 this year. When surveyed, parents of K-12 students said that they plan to decrease their spending on technology items by 8%.
This decrease can also be a result of the virtual or hybrid learning that took place over the previous years. Virtual learning caused many parents to purchase technology to support their child learning from home.
How to Be the Top of Class in 2022
Ensure Your Prices Are Competitive
Most shoppers say they will trade brands if the prices are too high. So, ensure that your prices are competitive to sway shoppers to you and away from your competitors.
How to Stay Competitive
As you prepare for back-to-school shoppers, provide an audit on your current products and prices and compare them against your competition. Don’t know who your competition is? Here are a few steps to get started:
- Search keywords or phrases that describe your product(s) on the online marketplaces you use
- Create a list of all those selling similar products to yours
- Compare your product against your competitors (price, offering, etc.)
- Use that information to pivot your brand and set yourself apart with pricing, offering, etc.
Avoid Going Out-of-Stock
One of the major concerns for back-to-school shopping this year is that items will be out-of-stock. Make sure you don’t run out of stock and lose out on sales.
How to Avoid Out-of-Stock
It can be frustrating when you run out of stock and know you could have more sales. You can try preparing by performing manual cycle counts to identify stock losses early, but that can take precious time that you don’t have.
If this sounds familiar, inventory management software is a possible solution you might want to consider.
A software specializing in inventory management can make you feel like you added another employee to your team because it provides accurate cycle counts of your inventory at all times, keeps your inventory accurate, and provides low stock alerts to avoid stock outages.
Even with the rising inflation, back-to-school shopping is supposed to hit an all-time high. Stay on top by avoiding stock outages, keying into the products that are projected to increase this year, and evaluating your competition before back-to-school shopping takes off.