Pandemic back-to-school shoppers plan to spend more on tech

With millions of children getting ready to return, or perhaps not return, to the classroom, the usual back-to-school purchase preparations seem uncertain.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Back-to-school shopping is in full swing – but this year is significantly different from last year's preparations. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to know what back-to-school preparations you should make for your kids.

This year, should you buy backpacks and contact paper? Or should you create an in-home workspace for learning instead?

A new study by Delray Beach, FL-based financial information website FinanceBuzz shows that Americans have their eyes set on electronics.

It asked 1,000 US respondents in July 2020, where they are doing their shopping, what type of supplies they are buying this year, and how this year's budget compares to previous years.

it found that COVID-19 protective items are top of mind for shoppers. Three our of four (74%) back-to-school shoppers plan to buy hand sanitizer, and 73% will be purchasing face masks.

Pandemic back-to-school shoppers plan to spend more on tech zdnet
Finance Buzz

With at-home learning programs on the rise, headphones, earbuds and speakers are in demand for 30% of shoppers, and laptops, computers or tablets will be purchased by 29.5% of shoppers.

With at-home learning comes a need to print out worksheets and assignments. Almost one in five (18%) of shoppers said they are planning to buy a printer, and 28% will be buying printer ink to prepare for the year.

Anticipating that kids will be working more at home this year, shoppers said that they plan to spend more on technology and electronic equipment.

Also: Speed up your home office: How to optimize your network for remote work and learning 

Almost one in three (29.2%) plan to spend more on computers and tablets, and almost two in five (19%) plan to spend more on headphones or electronic accessories for remote learning. Students want to take some form of classes this fall – even if it is online only.

As one in three American shoppers intend to spend more money on laptops, computers or tablets than they had in 2019, retailers should consider adjusting their marketing campaigns to capture market share during tax-free holiday weekends.

Whilst three out of four (74.81%) plan to shop in big-box stores such as Target or Walmart, 67.2% plan to buy online at Amazon.

Almost one in six (14.3%) will buy from minority-owned businesses and 16.1% plan to purchase from locally-owned businesses -- providing the price is right for them. Three in four (76%) shoppers said that price was one of the biggest factors in choosing where to shop.

Whether your child will be at school in the classroom or distance learning at home, parents will still need to supply the correct tools to make sure that they have the best learning experience possible. So go shopping, and don't make them hate you for the out-of-date tech they already have.

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