More parents going online for back-to-school deals

A survey shows consumers are looking for ways to reduce the expense of the season, which is on its way back up.

ebates-2Back to school spending is inching up slowly, according to the latest Ebates Canada research, and parents are doing more of their shopping online (and getting kids to help as well).

An online Ebates survey of 1003 Canadians conducted in early June reveals that the average spend-per-child moved up a couple of dollars to $168, after falling from $183 to $166 in 2018. And when it comes to the shopping experience, 94% of parents surveyed report their online spending will equal or exceed that of last year.

That could be because 49% of respondents (versus 42% last year) say online shopping reduces the hassle of back-to-school shopping. And there’s a slight parental divide with 77 % of dads, versus 66% of moms, indicating an intent to buy online).

The expense associated with back-to-school shopping is the top stressor for 26% of parents, which could be another reason they are looking to use online platforms more this year. According to the survey results, 70% of parents will search retailer websites for the best deals, with 53% searching online for coupons and promo codes, 41% using cash back sites, 38% signing up for email sales and promotion notifications and 33% using social media to find deals.

Belinda Baugniet, VP of marketing at Ebates Canada, says shopping online and utilizing a range of strategies when deal hunting for back-to-school can bring expenses down and help parents feel more prepared. She also says that involving the kids in the back-to-school shopping experience can “give kids a sense of responsibility, in turn making them more excited to take on the school year and be independent.”

Nearly all Canadian parents (94%) say they try to involve their kids in the back-to-school shopping process. Meanwhile, 69% of parents let their kids help pick out products, with 30% letting them help when shopping online.

The survey further reveals that while there are a few early bird shoppers (20% of parents), most (78%) do it in August or even in early September. This is because, according to the report, almost half of parents (49%) perceive deals closer to the school year as better than ones through the rest of the summer.