End Of The Season Recap:  Back-To-School Shopping

BTSStores are already stocking up for the holiday shopping season, but before moving on to the next event on marketers’ minds, we decided to examine the back-to-school shopping season as a whole. We surveyed 402 Millennials as part of a post-BTS analysis, and gained insights about their purchasing habits, shopping influences, and some of the biggest trends they’ve noticed at school.

First, it’s important to know that Millennials are independent when it comes to shopping for BTS clothes, and they’re making most of the decisions about what to buy. Even those who went shopping with parents or other family members still made most of the decisions since they’re the ones wearing the clothes. On average, Millennials said 58% of their BTS shopping was done by themselves whereas a quarter of it was with family members and 17% of it was with friends. Moreover, 6 in 10 (61%) said they made all the BTS clothing shopping decisions and a quarter made most of the decisions. Overall, nearly half said they were personally responsible for all of their shopping, whereas 22% said they did most of it. This proves just how essential it is to reach Millennials directly since they’re deciding what stores to go to and what to buy.

In terms of timing, Millennials are hitting the stores later and later each year. While BTS inventory is out earlier and stores are attempting to lure in consumers with coupons and deals in the beginning of July, most Millennials aren’t focused on BTS shopping until August. Half said they began shopping for their BTS wardrobe at the same time as last year, yet 3 in 10 (28%) started shopping later this year. Those who shopped at the same time as last year reported that it’s convenient and August is the core part of the BTS shopping season. Others added that they wanted to get most of…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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