Back-To-School Shopping Gets A Technology Lift This Year In What, Where And How People Buy

Forbes | August 1, 2021

Uncertainty prevails about what their children’s actual back-to-school experience will look like with rise of the more contagious Delta variant. These uncertainties may delay parents’ spending. While Deloitte found parents planned to make nearly 60% of their BTS purchases by the end of July, NRF found that fewer than 20% of parents had completed their BTS shopping in early July, when its survey was conducted.

The longer parents wait, the more likely they are to disappoint their kids in securing the must-have items on their BTS shopping list, including backpacks, sneakers and the most in-demand items of all, technology tools and gadgets. Carrying the most stylish gadgets is replacing having the most fashionable outfits this year, with spending on clothing and accessories basically flat over last year.

Spending on tech gadgets is expected to grow 48% from last year and to reach parity with spending on computers and hardware, $5.9 billion each. By contrast, computer spending will be up some 28% this year.

“The shift to technology is the macro story this year,” Rod Sides, Deloitte’s vice chairman and U.S. leader in retail and distribution shares. “Digital is pervasive and digital engagement is accelerating throughout the BTS shopping journey, affecting what items are needed for schooling and how and where parents seek them out.”

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