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Back-to-School Shopping Prices on the Rise

Parents May Pay More for Back-to-School Supplies in 2023

Parents shopping for back-to-school supplies for their children may want to devote some time to deal-hunting this year. According to new data from ecommerce accelerator, Pattern, the price of a typical basket of back-to-school goods has risen by 5.45% over the last year.

Why it matters: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics most recently reported that inflation rose 4.8% for major categories of goods during the last year. When it comes to back-to-school supplies, however, consumers may be looking at inflation in excess of 4.8% for many popular items.

What we’re seeing: We analyzed the cost of a typical basket of goods containing all the back-to-school essentials for a family with four children (two teens, two grade school children) for every day of 2022 and 2023 so far to see how inflation has impacted pricing. Here’s what we found:

  • Overall, the cost for the most popular back-to-school items rose by 5.45% from 2022 – 2023

Highest Inflation

  • Consumers looking to save money during back-to-school shopping should watch out for the supplies below, which have risen beyond the 4.8% inflation mark:
    • Graph Paper +17.59%
    • Mechanical Pencils +15.57%
    • Highlighters +13.27%

Lowest Inflation

  • Parents wanting to save on their back-to-school shopping can look forward to inflation reversal on the following items:
    • Backpacks -7.89%
    • Book Covers -6.82%
    • Pencil Pouches -5.88%

What about clothes?

Unlike back-to-school supplies, clothing for children and teens has remained largely unaffected by inflation, seeing price changes well below the 4.8% mark. Here’s how inflation has affected the cost of back-to-school clothing for children and teens year over year:

  • The cost of Teen Girl Shoes decreased by 16.74% from 2022 – 2023
  • Boys Clothes -6.54%
  • Girls Shoes -5.55%
  • Teen Girl Clothes -3.22%
  • Girls Clothes +0.17%
  • Boys Shoes +0.84%
  • Teen Boy Clothes +3.54%

The takeaway: Parents may take a harder hit at the checkout line this year when paying for their children’s back-to-school supplies, depending on what they buy. By taking advantage of available deals and looking for items that have experienced inflation reversal, consumers may be able to avoid the sting of inflation with careful planning.

  • Pattern’s data science team analyzed pricing data on Amazon during every day of 2022 and 2023 so far to understand what consumers can expect during their back-to-school shopping this year. If you’re interested in using insights like these to strengthen your ecommerce strategy, reach out to our team for more information today.