More consumers plan to use coupons, shop sales this back-to-school season

Key stat: More US consumers are engaging in money-saving activities (like using coupons or shopping for deals) in 2023 than they did in 2019. The number of US consumers doing more comparison shopping online in particular has risen by 17 percentage points from 2019 to 2023.

Beyond the chart:

  • Price may not be the only factor that back-to-school shoppers consider this year. “We think of value as quality and price, but I think more and more we’re adding time savings,” said our analyst Suzy Davidkhanian in a recent “Behind the Numbers: Reimagining Retail” podcast. “And so [the] channels where we think there will be a little bit stronger growth are the ones where there’s a lot of assortment [and] it’s easy to compare prices against different brands, [making] shopping across multiple categories that much more efficient for families.”
  • Retail back-to-school season sales will grow 2.9% to reach $71.74 billion this year, a slowdown from 2021 and 2022 but slightly above pre-pandemic growth, per our forecast.

Use this chart:

  • Understand the behaviors of back-to-school shoppers.
  • Demonstrate the change in back-to-school shopping behaviors over time.
  • Determine back-to-school promotional and marketing strategies.

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Methodology: Data is from the July 2023 National Retail Federation (NRF) “2023 Back-to-School Spending Survey” as cited by Martech Zone. 7,843 US consumers ages 18+ were surveyed during June 30-July 8, 2023. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 1.1 percentage points.

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