Why are we thinking about back-to-school when it’s still July? Didn’t summer just start? In some places in the US, schools have not been out for the summer that long, but in others, schools start back around the 1st of August. Each year around this time, parents and kids flood stores to fill their back-to-school list.
Now is the time for back-to-school shopping!
This year, total US back-to-school spending for K-12 schools and college combined is projected to reach $82.8 billion. Families with children in elementary through high school will spend on average $684.79 each, for a total of $27.5 billion, per the National Retail Federation’s annual survey. For people heading off to college or graduate school, the survey quoted the average spend as $942.17 per person for a total of $55.3 billion.
The leader in back-to-school purchases are clothes and accessories, expected to reach $15.1 billion. School supplies come in at $6 billion, computers and hardware hit $3.7 billion and electronic gadgets are predicted to reach $2.8 billion.
Shoppers will be active from late July to early August, spending about a third of the projected seasonal spend. Many consumers will research their purchases online before buying items in-store, while 52% said they will purchase from online retailers that offer free shipping.
Some retailers are getting creative when it comes to getting back-to-school orders into the hands of consumers, faster and for less cost. Some retailers are setting up kiosks or pop-up booths on campuses, other have special buses that drive students to local stores, still others are offering click-and-collect boxes at convenient locations. For college students, retailers are offering direct delivery to college dorm rooms.
It is critical that retailers ensure that the right items are on shelves in time for back-to-school shopping. Getting items from suppliers to the DC or from the DC to store shelves, consumer homes or click-and-collect boxes requires a scalable, flexible transportation management system.
Kuebix TMS integrates with e-commerce platforms, allowing online retailers to gain real-time visibility with estimated delivery times and alerts if a shipment will be delayed. The result is a streamlined logistics operations that controls costs and ensures delivery accuracy for shippers working hard to meet back-to-school demand.