Inflation and supply chain issues are already impacting back to school shopping. A survey by CivicScience found that parents are worried about being able to fill backpacks thanks to ongoing supply chain issues, up 9 percentage points between April and May. The survey found that two-thirds of parents are very concerned about how inflation will impact school shopping. 

Price sensitivity has also risen among parents who are feeling more financially worse off for the first time in more than a year. The survey suggested that buying habits are shifting with adults doing the shopping for their college bound children. It also found that more college students are choosing to buy their school supplies online, while K-12 still plan to do their shopping in stores. In fact, many people have already started their shopping with many consumers already purchasing supplies in May 2022. 

Shoppers are also filling their carts with more supplies than ever with 41 percent saying they plan to spend more this year, an increase of 17 percent over 2021. 

This is in contrast to a similar survey done by Inmar Intelligence that found 65 percent of shoppers plan on changing their shopping patterns this year. Sixty-six percent of participants said they would be putting more effort into finding promotions to ease the pain of inflation.

“While back-to-school shoppers still plan to spend this season, this data shows that they are hyper focused on extending the value of their dollars,” said Aaron Kechley, interim president of Inmar’s Martech division. 

Shoppers are relying on a number of saving methods to help ease the pain of higher prices this year. The survey found that 35 percent of shoppers will be using flyers, coupons and e-mail alerts to find bargains, while 30 percent plan on using social media, influencers and their friends to find the best deals. 

“Brands need to be agile, reacting quickly to shopper demands and providing those savings through the most impactful channels in order to reach consumers,” said Kechley. “Today’s shopper is navigating the digital and physical aisle interchangeably and with rising prices, convenience and savings will need to flow seamlessly across that omnichannel experience.”