If you're a parent wondering what to buy for remote, hybrid, or in-person back-to-school this year, you're not alone. Most parents (66%) haven't received a supplies list, and the only certainty is households are preparing for a heavy dose of remote learning.
According to an updated August survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics, 63% of consumers are expecting at least some school and college classes to take place online this year, up from 55% in early July. The survey ran from Aug. 3 to Aug. 11 and covered 7,659 consumers.
In addition, 76% of respondents plan to make purchases specifically related to online education, up from 72% in July. Thirty-seven percent of respondents were planning to buy a laptop, steady in August and July, and 26% say they will buy accessories such as a mouse or flash drive, up from 21% in July.
Furniture is also a big category, which isn't surprising given Wayfair's results, as 23% plan to buy desks or chairs in August, up from 17% in July.
Simply put, consumers are building home classrooms amid the. Other odds and ends:
- 54% said they are spending more on electronics and computer equipment.
- 47% of respondents said they are spending more on clothing.
- K-12 shoppers have completed 41% of their shopping.
- College shoppers have completed 50%.
Back to school buyer's guides
Do you need to set up a home office for yourself or your kid quickly before school starts back up this autumn? Here is a selection of buyer's guides covering everything you could possibly need for the school year. If you still can't find what you're looking for, check out our ZDNet Recommends hub for more guides and even deals on the best products available to buy.
Laptops, tablets, and desktops
- Laptops with the best battery life: Top choices for remote workers and students
- The best Chromebooks you can buy, from budget to rugged to Pixelbook Go
- The best cheap laptops under $320 you can buy now
- Best Chromebooks for work: Which high-end laptop is right for your business?
- Best tablets: iPad Pro, Surface Go 2, Fire HD 10, and more
- Best laptops for design, video, and photography: MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 15, and more
- Best desktops for design, video, and photography: iMac Pro, Surface Studio 2, and more
- Best rugged laptops: Dell Latitude, Panasonic Toughbook, Lenovo ThinkPad
- The 5 best Chromebooks for students
Desks, chairs, and home office furniture
- Best office chairs: Herman Miller, Secretlab, La-Z-Boy, Steelcase, and others
- Best standing desks: Uplift, Jarvis, Vari, FlexiSpot, and more
- The best lighting products and solutions for your home office
- Best home office equipment: Roku TV, LG UltraWide monitor, and more
- Best home office cooling solutions: Dyson Pure Cool, Hydro flask, and more
- Upgrade your home office with these affordable smart devices and tech essentials
- Best home office furniture and tech: Herman Miller chair, LG UltraWide monitor, and more
- Best tech gadgets for your home office or workshop: Brother labeler, Firewalla, and more
- Work from home on the cheap: Build a budget home office for $312
- Work from home: Build a super-functional home office for $1,200
Webcams, headphones, and video equipment
- Best webcams for remote-working video calls: Logitech, Meeting Owl, Razer, and more
- Best home video studio equipment: Rode lavalier mic, Logitech webcam, and more
- Building a YouTube studio: First look at Blackmagic ATEM Mini and Pocket Cinema 6K camera
- Best wireless noise-canceling headsets: Plantronics, Jabra, Logitech, and more
- Best wireless earbuds: AirPods and alternatives
- Back to school: Great headphones, earbuds, and speakers for students
Printers, Wi-Fi routers, and accessories galore
- Best inkjet printers: Epson, HP, Brother, and more
- Best laser printers: HP, Brother, Canon, Xerox, and more
- Best Wi-Fi routers for your home office: Google Wifi, ASUS ROG, and more
- The best laptop docking stations: Your essential accessory for working from home
- Your work from home hardware dilemma: Desktop or laptop with docking station?
- Best smart speakers: Bose, Google, Apple, Amazon, Sonos, and more
- USB Power Delivery is the fastest way to charge iPhone and Android devices