Back to School Europe 2022 – Mobile Users’ Shopping Preferences

Aug 02, 2022
By: Jonathan Harrop

After two years when school was online or hybrid for most students worldwide, schools and companies have begun to return to a more normal education paradigm, which means a return to more traditional back-to-school shopping. To better understand the upcoming school year, what school supplies will be purchased, and how consumers will do their back-to-school shopping, Digital Turbine conducted its annual Back to School Shopping Survey in its inventory.

This survey provides insights on consumer behavior on back-to-school shopping and online shopping preferences across European mobile users. Let’s dive into the survey’s highlights, with some insights per country! Be sure to check over the given charts!

Most consumers are planning to do back-to-school shopping in mid-summer: 53% of respondents in the UK state that they plan to do their back-to-school shopping in mid-summer (July/August). 66% of consumers in the UK are planning to buy school items (pencil, notebook, eraser), 54% clothing and accessories, 42% electronics, 26% study/office supplies, and 14% sanitary products.

Check out the full report for the United Kingdom here.

School/office attendance will be primarily on-site this year: A great example of this is Portuguese consumers: While 57% of respondents in Portugal state that they will attend school/office on-site this year, 52% plan to buy back-to-school supplies for their children.

When we asked which electronic products they would buy, 62% said computer/laptop, 29% smartphone, 17% tablet, and 6% web conferencing accessories.

This shift varies in different countries depending on local response to Covid-19, as some regions (including upcoming our MENA and LATAM reports) had students returning to in-person studies much sooner. Some countries also closed schools during the Delta and Omicron waves in 2021 and earlier this year, while some did not. The shift to primarily on-site for this year’s back-to-school shopping indicates consumer confidence that once the kids are in their desks, they will most likely be staying there!

To read more about BTS shopping in Portugal, check out the full report.

Water, coffee, and coke are the most preferred beverages to buy at school: Students are most likely to consume beverages to freshen their minds due to overwhelming lectures. In France, hydration is critical! During these moments, consumers in France state that they prefer to buy mostly water (72%), coffee (51%), coke (39%), fruit juice (33%), tea (28%), and milk (11%) at school/work.

To read more about French students and parents’ plans, read the full report here.

Sandwiches, burgers, and chocolates are the top foods to buy at school: If they do not bring the food they prepare at home to work, they likely buy food from the canteen or cafeteria as a snack. When we asked German consumers which snacks they prefer to buy, 59% stated sandwiches, 55% burgers, 51% chocolates, 34% chips, 24% biscuits, 22% ice cream, and 13% cakes.

You might notice a significant chunk of students willing to buy foods their parents might not consider particularly healthy. This could be because, after two years of healthier diets and veggies, students are eager to eat what they want at home. Quite the challenge for school chefs across the region, but a large opportunity for ice cream brands like Wall’s, and other pre-packaged snack companies vying for top of mind when it comes to school snacking.

See the full report here to read more about German consumers this back-to-school season.

Consumers plan to order school supplies online and have home delivery: Even after the pandemic, online shopping and home delivery option remains dominant. While 86% of consumers in Spain, for example, prefer their smartphones to shop online, 52% of them will use order online and home delivery while buying school supplies.

To see more results about Spanish consumers, check out the deck here.

Providing better experiences lead consumers to prefer online shopping: When we asked consumers in Turkey about their primary reasons for online shopping, 56% of them stated to have a better experience, 45% find lower prices, 42% said it’s more convenient, 36% think it’s safer, and 31% said it provides better selection.

For more on Turkey’s Back to School consumer trends, click here.

If mobile ads are relevant, consumers will purchase from advertisements. – Regarding the online discovery of the school supplies consumers in Italy are looking for, 46% prefer to use search engines, 40% online websites, and 38% prefer the ads they see on their mobile devices or tablets. Also, 69% of them would purchase something on their mobile device directly from an advertisement if the product is relevant to them!

To see more BTS insights about the Italy market, click here.

Back to Normal?
The survey results in Europe show us that, overall, parents prefer online shopping for their children this year, instead of heading in-store, and most will use their smartphones as a primary device. As a post-peak pandemic normal emerges, it’s our online behavior had already increased for good. With the arrival of 2022 and the return of our social life, it was predicted that online shopping would decrease somewhat but it seems smartphones will still have a place in consumers’ shopping habits permanently!

About the Survey
Digital Turbine conducted its annual Back to School Survey in its inventory. It was distributed across the European region to analyze consumers’ behavior on back-to-school shopping and online shopping preferences. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 65.

By Jonathan Harrop
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