2023
9
US Back to College Shopping Market Report 2023
2023-03-08T03:06:48+00:00
OX1157803
3695
161184
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Report
en_GB
“College spending comprises two thirds of the total back to school market, driven by extensive needs for school. Overall, students are enthusiastic consumers who are eager to assert their independence,…

US Back to College Shopping Market Report 2023

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Description

“College spending comprises two thirds of the total back to school market, driven by extensive needs for school. Overall, students are enthusiastic consumers who are eager to assert their independence, making the season a critical time for brands to build affinity with young consumers. Value will be a necessity amidst limited budgets and compressed timeframes, but brand loyalty and social commerce will create opportunities for engagement.”
– Brittany Steiger, Senior Analyst, Retail & eCommerce

This Report looks at the following areas

  • The impact of inflation on back to college shopping
  • Back to college shopping participation and approach
  • Behaviors and attitudes toward back to college shopping
  • Shopping influences and social commerce behaviors among college students

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Consumer trends
                  • Inflation is driving students to shop less, reuse more
                    • Figure 1: Back to college shopping participation, 2022-23 school year, 2022
                  • Students look for alternative ways to save money
                    • Figure 2: Back to college shopping behaviors, 2022
                  • Students engage with social media and video content
                    • Figure 3: Students’ shopping influences – media and most influential social media channels, 2022
                  • Budget may be top of mind, but college students are loyal to their preferred brands
                    • Figure 4: Select attitudes toward back to college shopping – Value, 2022
                  • Competitive strategies
                    • Tarte Cosmetics forges relationships through its Tartlette U Mentorship Program
                      • Figure 5: Tarte launches “Tartlette U” mentorship program for college students
                    • Lululemon and Lids expand into collegiate apparel
                      • Figure 6: Lululemon, Lids feature custom collegiate apparel
                    • Market predictions
                      • Despite current conditions, the college market will remain strong in the years ahead
                        • Figure 7: Total and per household planned back to college spending, 2017-22
                        • Figure 8: Back to college shopping outlook, 2023-28
                      • Opportunities
                        • Capitalize on viral trends
                          • Nostalgia concepts and throwback pricing add both fun and value
                            • Promote all forms of value to satisfy students’ needs
                            • Market Size

                              • Back to college market estimated at $73.9 billion
                                • Figure 9: Consumers’ planned back to college spending, in current dollars, 2017-22
                              • The average household spends $1,200 on back to college purchases
                                • Figure 10: Total and per household planned back to college spending, 2017-22
                                • Figure 11: Per household planned back-to-college spending, 2017-22
                            • Segment Performance

                              • College students have more to buy for school
                                • Figure 12: Consumers’ planned back to college spending, in current dollars, 2017-22
                              • Spending on dorm and apartment furnishings sees highest growth
                                • Figure 13: Consumers’ planned back to college spending – Dorm or apartment furnishings, 2012-22
                                • Figure 14: Amazon presents: Dorm Roomz with Storm Reid
                            • College Students by the Numbers

                              • Gen Z dominates the college market
                                • Figure 15: Percent of people aged 18 or older enrolled in school, by age and level of school, October 2021
                              • College students are working toward financial stability
                                • Figure 16: College students’ employment status, household income and financial health, 2022
                              • Students embrace alternatives to 4-year bachelor’s degree programs
                                • Figure 17: College students by enrollment status and type of program, 2022
                              • College market becoming more diverse
                                • Figure 18: Percent distribution of college students, by race, 2011-21
                                • Figure 19: Percent distribution of college students, by Hispanic origin, 2010-21
                            • Market Factors

                              • Economic pressures create uncertainty for students
                                • Figure 20: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, February 2021-January 2023
                              • Enrollment declined over the last decade, exacerbated by pandemic
                                • Figure 21: College students, 2010-20
                              • Students care about social causes
                                • Figure 22: Mead Five Star partners with organizations to make an impact
                              • Technological innovation enables social commerce and digital connectivity
                              • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                • Competitive strategies
                                  • Tarte Cosmetics forges relationships through its Tartlette U Mentorship Program
                                    • Figure 23: Tarte launches “Tartlette U” mentorship program for college students
                                  • Lululemon, Lids expand into collegiate apparel
                                    • Figure 24: Lululemon + University of Alabama branded apparel
                                    • Figure 25: Lids U opens first three locations
                                  • Amazon offers year-round value through its Prime Student membership
                                    • Figure 26: Amazon Prime Student
                                  • Market opportunities
                                    • Capitalize on viral trends
                                      • Figure 27: Stanley’s Quencher Tumbler, The Pants Store go viral
                                    • Nostalgia concepts and throwback pricing add both fun and value
                                      • Figure 28: Depop + Pop-Tarts collaboration
                                    • Tap into college sports fandom
                                      • Figure 29: Kendra Scott targets students with its Game Day Shop
                                    • Promote all forms of value to satisfy students’ needs
                                    • The Back to College Consumer – Fast Facts

                                      • Shopping Participation

                                        • Most college students are shopping on their own
                                          • Figure 30: Back to college shopping participation, 2022-23 school year, 2022
                                          • Figure 31: Urban Outfitters + Fujifilm #fundyourfuture scholarship giveaway
                                        • Inflation leads students to buy less, reuse more
                                          • Figure 32: Back to college shopping approach, year-over-year comparison, 2019-2022
                                          • Figure 33: Back to college shopping approach, by gender, 2022-23 school year, 2022
                                        • Multicultural students prioritize school-related purchases
                                          • Figure 34: Back to college shopping participation, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                                          • Figure 35: Back to college shopping approach, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                                      • Shopping Timeframe

                                        • College students shop at different times, but most wait until later in the season
                                          • Figure 36: Back to college shopping timeframe, 2022
                                          • Figure 37: Attitudes toward back to college shopping timeframe, 2022
                                        • Females are more planned and proactive shoppers
                                          • Figure 38: Back to college shopping timeframe, by gender, 2022
                                          • Figure 39: Attitudes toward back to college shopping timeframe, by gender, 2022
                                      • Retailers Shopped and Shopping Method

                                        • Mass merchandisers and Amazon win with college students
                                          • Figure 40: Retailers shopped for college purchases, 2022
                                        • Dollar stores gain share in the college market
                                          • Figure 41: Retailers shopped for college purchases – Dollar stores, by key demographics, 2022
                                        • Multicultural students shop on value but also connect with specialists
                                          • Figure 42: Retailers shopped for college purchases, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                                        • College students lean toward ecommerce
                                          • Figure 43: Shopping method and devices used for online shopping, 2022
                                          • Figure 44: Forever 21 and Aeropostale partner to create “the ultimate concert experience”
                                      • Items Purchased and Planned Purchases

                                        • Students prioritize supplies, apparel and electronics
                                          • Figure 45: Items purchased for the 2022-23 school year and planned purchases for the 2023-24 school year, 2022
                                          • Figure 46: Items purchased in the 2022-23 school year versus one year ago and prepandemic, 2022
                                        • Females outpace males across multiple categories; opportunity to engage males through collegiate sports
                                          • Figure 47: Planned purchases for the 2023-24 school year, by gender, 2022
                                          • Figure 48: Champs Sports partners with college athlete Jared McCain
                                        • Black students overindex in discretionary categories
                                          • Figure 49: Items purchased for the 2022-23 school year, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                                          • Figure 50: Black and Scholared + Foot Locker capsule collection
                                      • Shopping Behaviors

                                        • Students are savvy and connected shoppers
                                          • Figure 51: Back to college shopping behaviors, 2022
                                        • Circular shopping is gaining appeal in the college market
                                          • Figure 52: Back to college shopping behaviors – Secondhand shopping, by key demographics, 2022
                                          • Figure 53: Depop, Poshmark promote circular shopping during back to school season
                                        • College students are primed for social commerce
                                          • Figure 54: Back to college shopping behaviors – Social commerce, by key demographics, 2022
                                      • Students’ Shopping Influences

                                        • Students seek guidance on what to buy
                                          • Figure 55: Back to college shopping influences, 2022
                                        • Students explore new platforms, but video content holds their attention
                                          • Figure 56: Social media channels that most influence college purchases, 2022
                                        • “TikTok made me buy it”: the appeal of viral trends in short-form video
                                          • Figure 57: American Eagle + Katherin Li, #AEJeansSoundOn campaign
                                        • Newer platforms rising in popularity but aren’t widely adopted for commerce…yet
                                          • Figure 58: Discord Student Hubs; Boohoo on Telegram
                                          • Figure 59: AdAge explains how brands are using BeReal to connect with consumers
                                        • Gap between promotions and coupons and value of rewards programs
                                          • Figure 60: Back to college influences – Promotions and rewards, by gender and household income, 2022
                                        • Media sources vary among student populations
                                          • Figure 61: Back to college shopping influences – Media, by race, Hispanic origin and sexual orientation
                                          • Figure 62: Logitech #LogiPride series tackles intersectionality
                                      • Attitudes toward Back to College Shopping

                                        • Students place importance on multiple forms of value
                                          • Figure 63: Attitudes toward back to college shopping – Value, 2022
                                        • Budget is a priority amid inflation
                                          • Figure 64: Amazon promotes Prime Day savings on dorm room essentials
                                        • Convenience is still critical
                                          • Figure 65: Instacart dorm room cart
                                        • Quality and premium are key differentiators
                                          • College students are loyal to their favorite brands
                                            • Figure 66: Attitudes toward back to college shopping – Brand recognition, by key demographics, 2022
                                            • Figure 67: Celsius University marketing program
                                          • College students are emotionally invested in shopping experience
                                            • Figure 68: Attitudes toward back to college shopping – Emotional connection, 2022
                                            • Figure 69: Insomnia Cookies’ Annual PJ Party
                                            • Figure 70: Crocs World on Roblox
                                          • Students shop their values
                                            • Figure 71: Attitudes toward back to college shopping – Conscious consumerism, by race and Hispanic origin and sexual orientation, 2022
                                          • Financial pressures contribute to back to college stress
                                            • Figure 72: Attitudes toward back to college shopping – Stress, by financial demographics, 2022
                                            • Figure 73: Sezzle educates young consumers through “Financial Empowerment Friday” posts
                                            • Figure 74: Boohoo “Adulting 101” series helps student combat stress and anxiety
                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                          • Data sources
                                            • Sales data
                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                      • Figure 75: Consumers’ planned back to college spending, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2017-22
                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                      • Figure 76: Back to college shopping participation, by household income and type of program, 2022-23 school year, 2022
                                                      • Figure 77: Students’ interest in promotion types, 2021

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