Pinterest Emerges as Top Back-to-School Platform for U.S. Shoppers; Blogs & Social Media Rival Traditional Formats for Purchase Influence

Crowdtap Study Reveals Consumer Behavior Ahead of Back-to-School Shopping Season

Crowdtap's study polled 300 U.S. adults who said they planned on leading their families' back-to-school shopping efforts this year. The survey specifically explored shopping behaviors around three key categories: clothing, school supplies and food/snacks. (Photo: Business Wire)

NEW YORK--()--While families around the country are readying their summer plans and waiting for that final bell, marketers are already ramping up their back-to-school marketing efforts – and with good reason. Per new research from Crowdtap, a social engagement and insights platform, many U.S. adults are already starting their back-to-school shopping.

Crowdtap’s study polled 300 U.S. adults* who said they planned on leading their families’ back-to-school shopping efforts this year. The survey specifically explored shopping behaviors around three key categories: clothing, school supplies and food/snacks. The study was fielded within Crowdtap’s member community and utilized the platform’s agile research tools.

Respondents said blogs and social media conversations rival traditional advertising formats (e.g. magazine circulars and TV ads) when it comes to what drives back-to-school purchases. When asked what influences back-to-school shopping decisions most, 37 percent of shoppers cited blogs and social media; 36 percent cited traditional media and 27 percent cited online ratings and reviews.

The study also revealed that one-in-four U.S. adults said they would utilize Pinterest for back-to-school shopping planning – proving that Pinterest’s 100 million+ users plan to lean on pins and boards to discover and organize their back-to-school purchases


  • Pinterest is BIG for back-to-school. Crowdtap’s research found that 27 percent of back-to-school shoppers plan to organize their shopping lists via Pinterest boards. Pinterest is also an important destination for lunchtime and/or snack inspiration in particular: twenty-five percent of shoppers said they will lean on Pinterest to unearth creative recipe ideas for back-to-school lunches and snacks.
  • Despite ecommerce growth, shopping in physical stores reigns supreme. Most shoppers polled said they favor shopping in physical stores over both retailer websites and destinations like for clothing (64 percent) and school supplies (70 percent).
  • Purchase decisions for back-to-school vary by category. When it comes to clothing purchases, shoppers value sales & promotions above factors such as value (quality for the cost) brand loyalty, convenience and sustainability. For school supplies and snacks, value is the most important determinant, above sales & promotions.

“Back-to-school shopping is one of the most time-honored traditions for American families – and the process is increasingly starting in the places where U.S. consumers are spending their media time: with social media content that’s created by expert creators and their peers,” said Claudia Page, VP of Platform and Creator Partnerships at Crowdtap. “While families still favor the in-store shopping experience for back-to-school, digital is playing a material role in the discovery process.”

For more information on this study, click here.

*Crowdtap fielded this research over two days in April 2016. Respondents reflected a 50-50 male-female split, with an average age of 35.

About Crowdtap

Crowdtap connects brands with people to make marketing more effective. Our People-Powered Marketing Platform combines community and technology to generate agile brand research, authentic peer recommendations and influential brand storytelling at-scale. We do this by building passionate crowds of people to share their ideas, opinions and stories with brands in social media.

In 2016, Crowdtap was named Best Social Media Tool by the Shorty Awards, recognizing the best brands, technologies and personalities in social media. Crowdtap has also been honored as one of the 100 Most Promising Companies in America by Forbes, the No. 54 fastest-growing private company in the Inc. 500 List, and was listed among the Top 10 Places to Work in Marketing & Advertising by Fortune.

With a growing community of passionate members, Crowdtap works with leading brands including General Mills, Heineken, Kraft Foods, P&G, Verizon, Walmart and Yum Brands.

Headquartered in New York, Crowdtap has raised $15 million through the Foundry Group, Tribeca Venture Partners, Alta Communications and The Mustang Group.

Visit for more information.


For Crowdtap
Dana Casalino, 646-760-2038


For Crowdtap
Dana Casalino, 646-760-2038