It’s the end of summer, kids are packing their backpacks, teachers are preparing their classrooms, and parents are dreaming of the moment when that yellow school bus officially drives away.

If you are an advertiser, you already know – Back-to-School is the second biggest shopping season of the year!

back-to-school infographic: 29 million US households shop B2S, 27.6 billion spent on B2S products, 510 avg spend per household

  • 29 Million US households’ shop B2S
  • Estimated $27.6 Billion spent on B2S products
  • $510 Avg. expected spend per household


Despite the continued increase of online shopping, only 23% of purchases will be made online.  Most shoppers will be stopping by their local brick and mortar stores to pick up clothing, supplies, computers, and electronics. What’s really exciting is that there is a remaining 20% of spend still undecided between purchasing in-store or online. That’s a $5.5 billion opportunity for online advertisers.

According to Deloitte’s 2018 Back-to-School survey, those who use social media for Back-to-School shopping are looking for coupons/promotions and browsing. Who’s looking for coupons? Mom. Who’s browsing for new, cool products? The kids.

Where the moms are – Pinterest.

Pinterest is a place for inspiring and planning – what mom does best. Tailor your messaging to her need to save time and think ahead. Food advertiser? Think “3-ingredient school lunches.” Clothing Retailer? Think “Mix and match Back-to-School outfits.” Get creative and take advantage of high volume keywords: back to school organization, outfits for kids, supplies for teens.

Pro Tip: Want to make a statement in a mom’s search feed? Test Pinterest’s newest product: max width video. Taking up 4x the space, max-width videos display across both columns in the mobile feed. Advertisers who tested the unit saw a significant improvement in purchase intent and brand awareness.

Where the students are – Snapchat.

During last year’s Back-to-School season, Snapchat had – on average – more daily mobile sessions per user than Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or Twitter. Take your Back-to-School strategy to a new level with Snapchat Story Ads. Use 3-20 snaps to showcase your line of products. When Snapchatters see something they like on a story ad, they can swipe up to access your web or app store.

Pro Tip: Have a vertical video or static assets? Reach the back-to-schoolers on Facebook and Instagram stories, too!

Where everybody is – YouTube.

With more than one billion hours of YouTube consumed daily, video advertising presents a huge opportunity for brands at this time of year. 68% of parents who watch YouTube report being open to receiving Back-to-School advice from brands. Parents and students are looking to YouTube not just for products but for product reviews and direction. Think Do-It-Yourself videos or video tours of ‘spacious’ college dorm rooms.

Pro Tip: Looking to drive conversions? Ace your video campaigns with YouTube’s TrueView for Action ads. For performance-based advertisers, this new ad unit is geared towards driving leads and conversions vs. driving video views.


Brands will need to do their homework to determine their ultimate Back-to-School strategy this year. While the emphasis is put on specific channels, it is important to continue to test and explore. A lot of people head to the store after doing their research online. Connect the dots for them by using a cross-channel strategy, and segment wisely. Know your target audience, and test new ways to reach them. And don’t worry – the second wave of Back-to-School shopping happens between Dec – Jan.

Want to learn more about how you can be top of the class with your Back-to-School strategy? Contact us. With our unique approach to media buying and personalized creative, we love to help drive results that matter.