Some U.S. consumers opt for eliminating the shopping when it comes to buying school supplies
Port Washington, NY, July 24, 2017 – Kits have taken on a new meaning for consumers in recent years, as they have become associated with everyday staples including meals, clothing, and beauty products. School supplies are no exception to the list of industries that are jumping on this bandwagon. According to global information company The NPD Group’s new 2017 Back-to-School Report, 65 percent of U.S. consumers who have the option to purchase pre-packaged school supply kits from their child’s school or PTA have chosen to do so at least once. The majority of these consumers, or 45 percent, have purchased a school supply kit on more than one occasion.
The top reasons consumers have decided to purchase such packs are because it is convenient (56 percent) and includes everything the student needs for school in his/her respective grade level (51 percent). These kits do not come cheap, as one-third of consumers reported spending $100+ dollars on one kit.
“In scouring the internet today, we see that retailers and other companies have taken this kit concept to another level. There are many services and technologies readily available that allow consumers to upload their child’s school list and have the complete package delivered directly to their home or school,” said Tia Frapolli, president of Office Supplies at The NPD Group. “Such solutions are a timesaver as they allow shoppers to essentially fulfill the entire school list in just one click. At the same time, there are some aspects still of value to consumers that cannot be satisfied in this way.”
Among consumers who chose not to take advantage of the pre-package program, the leading reason is because students like to pick out their own supplies (45 percent), followed by the view that they are too expensive (41 percent). These sentiments tie in with consumers’ emphasis on price savings and selection in choosing where to shop; K-12 shoppers prioritize where to shop based on the best/lowest prices (58 percent), sales/discounts/promotions (54 percent), and having a wide selection of products to choose from (50 percent).
“Retailers and manufacturers must not underestimate the significance of driving in-store traffic to inspire impulse purchasing and create a more customized experience. Consumers have voiced the importance of personalization that comes with hand-picking school supplies themselves. We know that the school age children of the Gen Z generation value uniqueness. Incorporating these elements into the product development and marketing of school supply kits is the next wave of opportunity for this back-to-school trend,” said Frapolli.
Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / LAB Series: 2017 Back-to-School Report