2023 LTK Back to School Shopper Study Reveals Optimistic Consumer Spending Trends Despite Economic Concerns

DALLAS---()--LTK, the global creator marketing platform, today released the findings of its 2023 Back to School Shopper Study, revealing insights into consumer behaviors and attitudes towards back-to-school shopping this year. Back to school is one of the biggest retail moments of the year with 65% of the general population intending to shop during this time, and despite economic concerns, 81% of shoppers plan to spend the same or more as last year with purchase decisions driven by price and quality. As shoppers begin their shopping journey, more are turning to creators for help as a majority of the general population (63%) now shop creator recommendations.

Shopper Spending Plans

The study found a substantial percentage of consumers across generations are preparing for back-to-school shopping. Gen Z leads the pack with 77% intending to shop, closely followed by 76% of Millennials and 74% of Gen X. Back-to-school shopping isn’t exclusive to students or parents; 42% of Millennials and Gen Xers who shop for their kids also plan to shop for themselves, further fueling the excitement surrounding this shopping season.

Despite 72% of the general population expressing concerns about the current economic climate, 81% of consumers plan to spend the same or more on back-to-school shopping this year. Among those intending to maintain or increase their spending, Millennials lead the way at 85%, closely followed by Gen X (83%), and Gen Z slightly trailing (71%). Compared to last year, the general population intends to spend more in four categories: traditional school supplies, electronics, clothes and shoes, and beauty.

Early Bird Shoppers and Popular Categories

Consumers are kicking off their shopping earlier this year. By early July, 35% will have begun their back-to-school shopping, up from 31% in 2022. Furthermore, 62% of shoppers state they will have started shopping before the end of July. As Gen Zers head back to college, more than half will start their shopping in late July through early August. When it comes to shopping preferences, 76% will shop online while 73% will shop in stores.

The most sought-after categories during the back-to-school season include fashion, shoes, backpacks and lunch boxes, core school supplies, accessories, personal care products, food and beverage, cleaning supplies, electronics and health and wellness products.

Key Factors in Purchase Decisions

Price and quality are paramount for the majority of shoppers this year, with quality gaining more significance over convenience compared to last year’s trends. Gen Z and Millennials place an even higher emphasis on price than the general population, with 53% intending to compare prices across multiple stores, 40% waiting for significant sales events and 31% ready to switch brands for better-priced items.

Impact of Creators on Shopping Decisions

Creators have significant influence over shopping behaviors, especially among Gen Z consumers. Creators are 3.5 times more influential to Gen Z than social media ads. An overwhelming majority of Gen Z (75%) and a significant number of Millennials (67%) base their online purchases on recommendations from creators. Similar trends are seen for in-store purchases, with 77% of Gen Z and 67% of Millennials expressing that they rely on advice from creators when shopping in physical stores. In addition, 45% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials say they follow creators who share back-to-school content.

The reported data is from a survey conducted in May 2023 among 1,084 participants, reflective of the US population with 97% confidence.

To learn more about the LTK Back to School Shopper Study, please visit https://company.shopltk.com/back-to-school-webinar.

About LTK

The LTK creator guided shopping platform is the pioneer in the industry. LTK is the trusted platform for creators and their businesses by powering the connection between content and commerce. Founded in 2011 by Amber and Baxter Box, the LTK mission is to empower creators to be as economically successful as possible. Premium lifestyle creators in 150+ countries drive more than $3.6 billion in annual retail sales through their LTK Creator Shop profiles. Today, more than 20 million consumers turn to LTK Creator Shops in the LTK shopping platform each month to find inspiration and instantly shop the styles recommended by their favorite creators. And, more than 6,000 brands partner with LTK to gain access to its global creator network for content that converts against performance-driven, cross-channel KPIs. A three-time honoree on Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Retail Companies, LTK is headquartered in Dallas, TX and currently operates on five continents. To download the LTK shopping app, search for LTK in the App Store or Google Play. For the latest shopping trends and updates from LTK, follow Shop.LTK on Instagram and TikTok.

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