Back to school season is quickly approaching meaning that programmatic advertisers are already in the process of planning campaigns to engage with these audiences. Whether it be for K thru 12 or college students, Americans spend big money on their children and dependents during the back-to-school season, or start of the academic year in August and September.
Americans spent a total of $110.8 billion for back-to-school and back-to-college shopping in Fall 2022 according to Capital One Research, $36.9 billion of which was for K-12 shopping. On average, households budgeted $864.35 for back-to-school shopping in 2022, including approximately $661 per child for k-12 school supplies.
The short answer to who is spending all of this money during back-to-school season is “parents and guardians,” however that list is not exclusive. Many high school, college and grad school students also buy clothes, books and other materials needed for their upcoming school seasons.
What Sells During Back-To-School Season?
According to National Retail Federation (NRF) research, the top categories of spending in back-to-school season were electronics, clothing and shoes. However other school supplies such as books, office supplies, furniture and more also spike in sales during this time.
While a wave of consumer shopping activity remains a constant during back-to-school season, some things have changed as well. NRF states that due to inflation consumers are cutting back in other areas to save money for back-to-school purchases. This also means that significantly more consumers are planning their back-to-school and back-to-college shopping around retailer sale events as compared to before the pandemic.
Research shows that consumers are growing skeptical of promotions, as 84% of shoppers noted they expect to see higher prices when back-to-school and back-to-college shopping. Perhaps most interesting is that 41% of shoppers plan to evenly split their back-to-school spending between online and in-store purchases – meaning digital shopping represents at least half of total purchases during this season.
All of this in mind, programmatic advertisers can turn to BDEX’s taxonomy to find a host of audience segments to increase effectiveness of their back-to-school advertising campaigns this season.
Back to School Segments Available in BDEX’s Taxonomy
For programmatic advertisers aiming to engage audiences of shoppers looking to buy back-to-school gear, there are a number of segments in BDEX’s taxonomy that can assist. For example as shown below, advertisers can purchase segments of individuals who mail order products for children that are classified as back-to-school products.
Audience segments are also available for families who have multiple kids. Advertisers can sort audience segments by the number of children a given family has, as shown below, for products that may be relevant for multiple children, or just to identify households that may be making purchases for more than one child during back-to-school season.
Diving deeper into audiences of parents who will be shopping for their children during back-to-school season, BDEX’s taxonomy can provide audience segments as broad or specific as advertisers are looking for. For example, below is an audience segment available in BDEX ‘s taxonomy for “Young Parents” that could assist big box stores or major retailers in identifying deterministic audiences of parents for a back-to-school campaign.
Alternatively, advertisers can target campaigns based on a parent’s reading interests. For example, below is an audience comprised of individuals who have read Parents Magazine in the last six months, suggesting that these individuals read and explore parent-related content on a regular basis.
Employed in Education
Programmatic advertisers can also sort audiences by job functions, and specific to school, they can target individuals employed in the education industry. Shown below is an audience segment available for teachers and educators, who may also be purchasing supplies and clothes for their classroom and upcoming school year.
Groups can also be stratified in BDEX’s taxonomy based on the level of education in which they work. As shown below, audience segments are available for educators in private and public elementary schools, as well as private and public high schools respectively.
To browse through BDEX’s full list of back-to-school segments and discover how you can improve your audience targeting and ad performance, explore the BDEX Taxonomy here.