Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Opportunities for digital back-to-school sales increase

InMobi, a provider of content, monetisation, and marketing technologies that help businesses fuel growth, has released insights from its annual Back-to-School Survey targeted to over one thousand school shoppers across North America.

In an inflationary environment, consumers shopped less across all categories this year, and a significant proportion of respondents reported no increase or even reduced spending when compared to the previous year. Overall, consumers indicated shopping in-person less for back-to-school across categories, buying non-school-related items alongside their school-related purchases, and diversifying their retailer choices beyond big box stores.

This back-to-school season, retailers should know:

  • Consumers shopped in-person remarkably less for school supplies, snacks, and apparel overall in comparison to 2022. Notably, consumers shopped in-person 6% less for school supplies and 7% less for snacks. As in-person shopping was significantly higher across categories for back-to-school 2022, this opens opportunities for digital shopping this season.
  • There is a pivotal opportunity for retailers to enhance their revenue streams through cross-selling. 57% of consumers indicate their inclination to purchase non-school-related items alongside their back-to-school shopping. This presents fertile ground for retailers to craft strategic bundles and offers that cater to diverse needs, unlocking not only higher sales but also elevating customer satisfaction.
  • Walmart still reigns supreme in back-to-school shopping, yet the survey highlights a decline in its appeal when shopping for school supplies. Despite retaining its position as the top choice for supply shopping (59%), there is a notable year-over-year dip of 7 percentage points.

Jeff Williams, Vertical Strategy Lead, CPG & Pharma, at InMobi commented: “Inflationary pressures during this year’s back-to-school shopping suggest that consumers may be buying less because they are spending more. By harnessing the digital wave, and offering discounts and promotions through apps, stores can gain loyalty, increase sales, and forge deeper connections with consumers during this pivotal shopping season.”


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