Back-to-school spending is projected to rise by 16% this year compared to 2020, reaching USD 32.5 billion.
Digital learning tools are replacing traditional school supplies, driving the sales for technology-based products for students up 37% YoY, according to Deloitte 2021 back-to-school survey.
For buying school-related technology products, 49% of participants consider online stores as first option, and 41% are planning to visit discount retailers.
School spending is projected to reach an average of USD 612 per child (up from USD 529 per child in 2020).
Overall, 40% of households expect to spend more on back-to-school items than the previous year.
Around 31% of those who purchase tech items plan to buy computers and hardware (up from 22% in 2020), while 37% intend to purchase electronic gadgets (24% in 2020).
At the same time, 44% plan to purchase fewer traditional back-to-school supplies because their children are using more digital technologies in and out of the classroom.
Even if schools open physically, 58% of respondents are considering buying online learning resources (up from 51% in 2020).
By category of technology products, most of the spending will go to electronics (USD 5.9 billion, 47% more than in 2020) and computers and hardware (USD 5.9 billion).
Mass merchants are still the preferred source for purchasing school products, but are losing ground to online stores – 43% prefer to buy from stores, and 39% online.
The difference increases if we refer to 2019, when 56% of shoppers preferred the physical store and only 29%, online shopping.