In the U.S., back-to-school shopping is kind of a big deal. In terms of holiday retail seasons, it’s the second biggest each year, generating more than $828 billion in sales.

Parents only want the best for their kids, so when you break that big number down it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the average family with school-aged kids spends about $606 on supplies and clothes by the time classes get underway in September. It’s August right now, which means back-to-school season is in full swing, but if you’re just now joining the school supply bandwagon, it’s not too late to tap into the many opportunities it can offer brands.

When jumping in, consider what people are buying. Apparel leads the pack, followed by footwear and backpacks. Stationary and other office supplies round out the group at 4th place, followed by tablets, computers, and sporting goods.

Of course one of the biggest factors to consider is the fact that the preferences of children are the main influence when it comes down to those purchase decisions. But let’s not forget about Dads! They are major heavy hitters when it comes to back-to-school shopping because they want to get it done as easy as possible. Consider this when spending your ad budget or planning your marketing initiatives around the biggest shopping bonanza of the year.

Though only 7.9% of sales for back-to-school come through online shopping, digital marketing can’t be ignored! The experience between digital and physical presence is blurred and so is the path-to-purchase. In fact, 50% of people browse online and then buy in-store. Additionally, 2/3 of shoppers check their phones in-store before settling on a purchase. Lastly, a whopping 67% of people do the very opposite…they browse in-store and then buy those products online where they can find the best deal possible.

Discounts also have a huge impact on purchase decisions. Since parents are generally very value-based, 46% of shoppers feel that price is the biggest deciding factor. Meanwhile, 40% more purchases were influenced by deal-hunting last year.

Check out all the stats and insights below as you plan your final push for back-to-school shopping!

Courtesy of: The Shelf