After more than a year of online learning, I know many students and parents—my kids and me included—are clamoring for the return to in-person classes. And they’re not the only ones. In North America, more than half of students expect to return to in-class learning this year.¹
However, the annual back-to-school shopping season likely won’t bring a return of pre-pandemic rituals. So what specific behavior changes should you be ready for? Based on our research and Google-only insights, here are the back-to-school trends that are likely to be different this season.
Paper, pencils and PPE, for the right price
This year’s back-to-school shopping lists are changing because in-person schooling will likely be different than before. What tops the shopping list? Predictably, more than half of North American back-to-school shoppers intend to buy school supplies like pens, pencils and stationery, while 44% plan to buy clothing, apparel and footwear. But, as a sign of the times, more than a third plan to buy personal protection equipment—health and safety supplies like masks and hand sanitizers.²