Back-to-school shopping expected to be tame this year

Industry News

Back-to-school shopping was quickly becoming Christmas in July for many retailers, with a combination of budget cuts from educational institutions and increased preparedness by parents translating into an immensely profitable month for merchants in past years. Although parents are still going to be spending a healthy portion of their discretionary budgets on school supplies, expenditures may not match last year's numbers.

A new report from the National Retail Federation, conducted with help from Prosper Insights & Analytics, found the average family will spend $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics for their school-bound children this fall, which is a slight decrease from $688.62 last year.

when consumers are tightening their purse strings, you need to look for ways to position your items more effectively

In total, American parents' expenditures will reach $72.5 billion.

"The good news is that consumers are spending, but they are doing so with cost and practicality in mind. Having splurged on their growing children's needs last year, parents will ask their kids to reuse what they can for the upcoming school season," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "As they continue to grapple with the impact of increased payroll taxes, Americans will look to cut corners where they can, but will buy what their kids need."

So if you sell apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, what does this mean for you? First and foremost, when consumers are tightening their purse strings, you need to look for ways to position your items more effectively. For instance, this could mean bundling popular products to provide more value to customers or offering coupons and other incentives.

Inventory management plays an important role in serving budget-conscious back-to-school shoppers, and eCommerce software such as SalesWarp can help you do that.