Digital Marketing Researches & Reports

2017 Back-to-College Survey in US | Deloitte

Shopping Seasons | USA

Back-to-college (BTC/B2C) season is a vital opportunity for retailers to connect with a lot of shoppers, build relationships and introduce new products. Also, there are many challenges to the back-to-college market include limited growth in family household income. BTS shopping season increased to reach $46B and account for 60% of annual college-related purchases in 2017.

Read the below insights and find out more about what kinds of purchases both back-to-college students and parents are making in 2017:

  • The national average of BTC spends by parents estimated with $1,347, while the national average of BTC spends by students estimated at $1,051.
  • 88% of BTC parents planned to purchase college supplies with an average spend of $505, while 93% of BTC students planned to purchase college supplies with an average spend of $379.
  • BTC students are more likely to do their BTC shopping from online retailers than BTC parents (70% vs. 51%), while both prefer mass merchants than any other retail environments.
  • Nearly 68% of BTC parents reported that more than half of their BTC spending is influenced by the student.
  • Desktops/laptops are the most used devices for BTC shopping for parents (80%) and students (91%), followed by smartphones (44% vs. 70%).
  • BTC students are more likely to use social media for shopping purposes than BTC parents (40% vs. 18%).

2017 Back-to-College Survey in USA / Deloitte


Data were driven from 1,025 parents with college-going sons/daughters and 1,025 college-going students. The 2 surveys were conducted between May 31-June 13, 2017. The entire sample has a margin of error of +/- 3% points.


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