The back-to-school season is one of the year’s mega revenue opportunities for retailers. 

In the US, back-to-school consumer spend grows with each passing year, reaching an average of $865 per household in 2022

But that’s not the full story. There’s also back-to-college shopping, which is enormous.

Combined consumer spending for the 2022 back-to-school and college season was forecast to reach $110 billion. Only $37 billion of that is school shopping, which means that the college shopping segment is around three times larger.

For brands and businesses targeting back-to-school and/or college shoppers, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Not just in the US, but in all geos where there is a large student community of any age group.

    Want to learn more?

    Let’s take a look at the some of the detailed data points that can inform your mobile ad campaigns during the back-to-school (and back-to-college!) shopping spree:

    1. Not just school supplies: Popular back to school/college shopping items cover several retail categories. Electronic gadgets, including computers, was a top category last year, with $12.5 billion of consumer spending, while clothing and accessories were also popular, with $11 billion spent in the back-to-school period. 
    2. Focus on Gen Z and Millennials: According to mobile user data, over 80% of back-to-school shoppers are aged 44 and under, with the largest segment aged 18 to 24 years. Potential sales are high among college-age students, and parents of kindergarten and elementary age children, so that’s a good place to focus your targeting strategy. 
    3. Females first: data shows that two-thirds of back-to-school shoppers are female. This is in line with general consumer data that indicates around 70 to 80% of consumer purchasing is done by women. Shifting your campaign focus to this reality is a wise move in back-to-school season too.
    4. Consumers who are interested in school: Get smarter with back-to-school advertising by exploring the mobile audiences who are interested in school. For example, 34% of mobile users who like to shop at big box stores are also interested in school. This is the perfect time to buy a new computer, office accessories, clothing and a host of other school and college items that are available at great prices at big box retailers.  
    5. Book store shoppers are young: Although education has become more digital based, the largest segment of book store shoppers falls into the college-age bracket. According to mobile data, 48% of Book Store Shoppers in the US are 18 to 24 years old. 

    Need more inspiration to make your back-to-school campaigns worthy of an A+?

    Visit the Consumer Insights & Audiences Hub to access all the mobile data you need to succeed during the popular shopping season.