Books, stationery, electronics, clothing…the back-to-school shopping season is one of the busiest of the year, and for good reason.

Millions of school- and college-age students in the US and around the world are gearing up for a new year of studies, and that means big bucks across several consumer categories.

According to network data, there are 56.2 million mobile users in the US who are interested in school. During back-to-school season, here are some key stats that app publishers should know to tap into this vast audience and boost their revenue potential: 

  1. Online shopping is the preferred channel for back-to-school consumers. Over 68% of parents plan to do back-to-school shopping via an online retailer. (Retail Dive) Tip: With so much shopping attention focused online, it is a great opportunity for app developers to incorporate back-to-school themed promotions and ads in their apps.
  2. The most popular time for back-to-school shopping is the last two weeks of July and first two weeks of August. A smaller but not insignificant proportion of shoppers start in early July and others keep going till September. (StatistaTip: Consider running school-themed campaigns for an extended period to maximize user reach.
  3. Parent age matters. When it comes to back-to-school shopping, Gen X parents are more likely to look for deals, while Millennial parents prefer to read reviews and recommendations on social media. (Statista) Tip: Parents are not one homogenous group; they have different demographics and preferences. Segment your app user groups accordingly to optimize back-to-school engagement.
  4. Kids have a huge influence on back to school spending. 75% of parents are influenced by their kids for back-to-school shopping, across all categories. For clothing and accessories, that figure reaches 80%. (Statista) Tip: During back-to-school season, try to boost app engagement among kids – this will have a direct impact on monetization among parents too.
  5. Shoppers are willing to wait to get a good deal. Apart from the last-minute crowd, shoppers during back-to-school season are not in a hurry. 71% of consumers in the US are willing to wait two weeks or more to get a discount or deal. (Think of Google) Tip: Focus on longer-duration campaigns to tempt back-to-school shoppers with promotions and offers throughout the season. This will help keep engagement to the maximum. 
  6. Price is the most important factor for consumers, but not the only one. 45% of back-to-school consumers love product promotions. Price is the only other factor that is more important. (Statista) Tip: Campaigns that offer exciting or clever promotions will get good engagement during the back-to-school season. This is an effective alternative to straight-up discounts.
  7. Rewards work. 52% of back-to-school shoppers may be influenced by rewarded ads during their interactions with apps. (ironSource) Tip: Using rewarded ads is a great tactic even for non-gaming apps. And, because kids strongly influence their parents’ back-to-school shopping decisions, using rewards in apps to engage with younger users is a particularly smart approach.

Want more back-to-school inspiration for your app engagement strategy? Check out this article.