Food & Wellness ˙ Jan 12, 2018

Back to School Spending Up in Canada

Back to School Spending Up in Canada

It's that time of the year again: the one that parents love and kids mostly dread. School-aged children are heading back to the classroom after a long and hopefully relaxing summer break. This time of year often sees families buying school supplies, like writing implements, calculators, and binders. Some people are purchasing electronics for use at home and at school. There are uniforms to select and clothes to obtain. This year, Canadians are spending more on the seasonal shopping activity, according to a new poll conducted by Ebates. The survey was conducted online during July 2017, and a little over 1,000 Canadians participated

Canadian families are spending, on average, $183 per child, up from $155 in 2014. Reportedly, back to school shopping is one of the year's biggest retail events, and 67 per cent of parents are braving the stores with their offspring. A further 66 per cent of those surveyed said that they let them pick out the products to be purchased, while 58 per cent let their kids make up the shopping list.

However, more Canadian parents are choosing to select products online and have them shipped to the house, rather than go through the in store retail experience. According to the survey, 67 per cent of parents planned to complete "at least some" of their shopping online, but this marks a major jump from the 2014 data. In that year, only 31 per cent of parents indicated a willingness to embrace e-commerce.

Belinda Baugniet, director of marketing and resident shopping expert at Ebates, explained that "It's a transition time for everyone, including the kids, so making things as easy and stress-free as possible is key." And parents seem to believe this means looking for deals online more frequently. Baugniet added, "That includes finding convenient ways to shop and keeping costs down."

People are using their e-mail to work for them: 33 per cent said that they sign up for e-mails outlining specials and coupons, and another 46 per cent of respondents search online for coupon codes that will enable them to save money on purchases. A further 32 per cent sign up for cash-back websites, to make the purchasing work for them.

Consumers are using technology to their advantage. With the ubiquity of smartphones, this make senses. According to the survey results, 28 per cent of shoppers are using mobile apps to find back-to-school shopping deals, and another 28 per cent use social media to find deals. This way, individuals can share information with friends and family.

Parents do enjoy back to school season, and not only because it can free up their time - and sometimes, their home. It was determined that a significant portion - 35 per cent - of respondents agree that it's good to get their kids back on a regular schedule. Keeping a solid routine can be beneficial for everyone, and with many activities and trips planned during the summer, some people find it challenging to maintain normalcy.