PCs at BTS

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Back-to-School Season - Technology Purchase Trends

While information on trends related to back-to school shopping in Canada is extremely limited, we have been able to identify that over 50% of parents and kids start their shopping at least 2-3 weeks before school starts. Below is an outline of our findings and methodology.

North America trends

  • The biggest change in back-to-school spending this year is related to electronics.
  • The reason for the decrease is the fact that items like laptops, tablets and smartphones have become part of everyday life and, as such, parents do not need to save for them at the start of the school year.

Back-to-school Statistics in Canada

  • About 30% of Canadian students said that they start back-to-school shopping two to three weeks in advance while 28% of students leave it for the week before school starts to purchase the items they need.
  • Canadian parents have reported that they start back-to-school shopping at the same time as their kids. About 32% start shopping two to three weeks in advance while 25% prefer doing back-to-school shopping one week in advance.
  • A Newswire poll looked at the buying habits and sentiments of Canadians for back-to-school shopping, summarizing that the event represents "a transition time for everyone, including the kids, so making things as easy and stress-free as possible is key."
  • Amazon Canada has reported that it is planning to launch specialized "back-to-school and off-to-university" stores.
  • According to Newswire, back-to-school shopping is a big financial burden for over 50% of Canadian parents.


Research Strategy:

In order to determine 3-5 trends for technology purchase during the back-to-school season in Canada, we began by looking for the current trends for laptop and productivity laptop software purchases during the back-to-school season in Canada by going through reports written by industry experts. The only relevant information we were able to find were about when the best time is to buy a laptop.

We also consulted credible databases such as Statista and Deloite in order to find the current trends around tech purchases during the back-to-school season in Canada but we were only able to find data on the overall back to school shopping trends and tech trends for Canadian businesses.

Next, we scanned through credible media sources such as PR Newswire, e-marketer, MarketWatch, Bloomberg, and Forbes in order to identify any current tech purchase trends during the back-to-school season in Canada. Unfortunately, the articles mainly offered general purchasing trends for the season and overall tech trends in the Canadian market.

As a final resort, we decided to look for the top technology sellers in order to determine if there are any prominent trending innovation that are disrupting the back-to-school shopping segment in Canada. We went through the websites and news sections of Walmart, Best Buy Canada, and Amazon. We were only able to find each company's laptop offerings and an article discussing Amazon Canada's recent launch of new back-to-school specialized stores, with nothing specific to technology or laptop and laptop software sales during the Canadian back-to-school season.





Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Back-to-School Season - Forecasts

In Canada in 2019 and 2020, an estimated $204,209,000 CDN and $284,125,000 CDN worth of laptops are estimated to be sold during the back-to-school season (July, August and September).

SALES IN DOLLARS

  • In Canada in 2019, an estimated $204,209,000 CDN worth of laptops are estimated to be sold during the back-to-school season. [Estimated]
  • In Canada in 2020,an estimated $284,125,000 CDN worth of laptops are estimated to be sold during the back-to-school season. [Estimated]

SALES IN UNITS

  • In Canada in 2019, 200,149 laptops are expected to be sold during the back-to-school season. [Estimated]
  • In Canada in 2020, 202,278 laptops are expected to be sold during the back-to-school season. [Estimated]

Research Strategy:

  • To find out the forecast numbers for 2019 and 2020, we began by calculating the monthly growth rate of the sales of manufactured goods for June 2017 to September 2018. Using a CAGR calculator, we estimated that the growth rate was 1.93% per month, which we used to estimate the sales value for each month until December 2019.
  • We then used the previously calculated value of sales for laptops in Canada for September 2018 ($204,209,000 CAD).
  • We were able to determine the total number of laptops sold in the world for 2019. This was then multiplied by Canada's population percentage from the world (37,206,346/7,714,576,923 = 0.48%) to get the total sales of laptops in Canada in 2019 (0.48% * 166,000,000 = 800,595). Using this, we estimated that there were 800,595 laptops sold in Canada in 2019.
  • The total numbers of laptops sold (800,595) was then multiplied by 25% (3 months out of 12) to get the back-to-school season sales of laptops (800,595 * 25% = 200,149)
  • However, global sales figures were not available. As such, to maintain consistency, we assumed that the market would grow in a linear fashion until the end of 2020. Using the sales figures and the figures for the total number of laptops sold for 2017 and 2018, we were able to calculate the yearly growth, which we used to calculate the values for 2020. All the calculations have been laid out in the provided spreadsheet.


Part
03
of eight
Part
03

Back-to-School Season - Historical Sales

In Canada in 2017, there were 195,970 laptops worth $105,699,000 CDN sold in the back-to-school season. In 2018, that number increased to 196,441 laptops worth $140,506,000 CDN sold in the back-to-school season.

Sales in dollars

  • In Canada, in 2017, there was $105,699,000 CDN worth of laptops sold in the back-to-school season, between July and September. [Estimated]
  • In Canada, in 2018, there was $140,506,000 CDN worth of laptops sold in the back-to-school season, between July and September. [Estimated]

sales in units

  • In Canada in 2017, there were 195,970 laptops sold in the back-to-school season, between July and September. [Estimated]
  • In Canada in 2018, there were 196,441 laptops sold in the back-to-school season, between July and September. [Estimated]

Research Strategy:

Sales

  • We began by researching for hardware sales in Canada in government websites such as Statistics Canada. We were able to find the global sales in units of PC, laptops and tablet sales through a Statista report.
  • From there, we calculated that in 2017, 38% of the sales were from laptops while in 2018, 40% were from laptops [161,600,600 / 423,100,600 = 0.4]
  • Using that percentage, we extrapolated the dollar value of laptop sales in Canada by using the following formula: total sales * % of laptop sales by month [Example: 97,551 * 38% for 2017 and 98,912 * 40% for 2018]. (see attached spreadsheet for a breakdown of all of the calculations)

Sales in Units

  • We then found the total population of Canada and the total global population. We calculated the relative percentage of Canadians relative to the global population, which resulted in a 0.49% in 2017 and 0.48% in 2018. [3]
  • [2017: 36,624,199 / 7,550,262,101 = 0.0049 or 0.49%] and [2018: 36,953,765 / 7,632,819,325 = 0.0048 or 0.48%]
  • We then took the total number of laptops sold globally and used the population percentage to estimate the number of units sold in Canada.
  • [Example: 161,600,600 * 0.49% for 2017 and 162,300,000 * 0.48% for 2018] (see attached spreadsheet for all 16 months)



Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Back-to-School Season - Purchase Triggers and Buying Habits

Peer pressure and great discounts on laptops and other items are some factors that influence Canadians when making purchases during back-to-school seasons in Canada. Searching online for the information on discounts and deals before going to the actual store is a common buying habit among Canadians purchasing laptops during back-to-school season.

Purchase Triggers

Buying Habits

  • According to an article, Canadians go for the quality, origin, composition, and price of products.
  • Internet sales have been increasing every year.
  • Gadgets and laptops are among the most popular products for back-to-school shoppers (18%), aside from school supplies (83%), clothing (83%), Shoes (80%), and bags and lunch bags (79%).
  • According to a survey by Retailmenot, 78% of Canadians think back-to-school is becoming more expensive every year and 44% said it is a major source of stress for them.
  • 49% of Canadians check for discounts online before they go shopping in the stores.
  • 60% of Canadian parents opt for early back-to-school shopping to save money.
  • Some parents still make a list so they can stick to their budget.
  • The Retailmenot's survey also reports that 40% of Canadians don't check for ways to save during back-to-school and 62% are loyal to one store for their convenience without checking other shops' deals.
  • 38% of Canadian parents get deals from signing to email notifications from retailers.
  • 37% of Canadian parents use cash back from retailers' website; it is 5% higher than in 2017.
  • 31% of Canadian parents get deals through mobile apps while 28% check social media to get deals.
  • Smartphones play a significant role in decision-making for students and parents.
  • Canadian students are now more engaged in back-to-school shopping, and they tend to start early, checking from websites for information about gadgets and laptops.
  • The younger Canadian consumers also used their devices and mobile when buying online.
  • 20% of students finish their shopping a month before school starts while 55% finish by Labour Day.
  • How-tos and “haul” videos greatly big impact Canadian students. They watch “back to school haul” 20% more than Americans.
  • Canadians use mobiles to search for information about the laptop like the specifications, battery, and size before they buy the item.
  • According to Google, 48% of Canadians make purchase decisions faster because they use their mobile to search for information about the item. (source 4)
  • One hour of mobile searching leads to the completion of about 75% of the buying process.
  • Buying a new laptop depends on the budget, where the student will use it and its size among other factors.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

Back-to-School Season - Consumer Journey

TYPICAL CONSUMER JOURNEY FOR PURCHASES DURING THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL SEASON

  • 30% of Canadian students said they start back-to-school shopping two to three weeks in advance, while 28% of students leave it till one week in advance of school starting before purchasing the items they need.
  • For parents who do Back-To-School shopping, 32% start shopping with two to three weeks in advance, while 25% prefer shopping for one week in advance.
  • However, there is a difference between the amount spent by a parent and a student during the Back-To-School purchase. As per 2016 data, while students plan to spend an average of CAD$208 on back-to-school products, parents plan to spend an average of CAD$480 for the same.
  • 40% of parents report that it takes months for them to pay off the bill.
  • Among those who set a budget for back-to-school purchases, 56% admit to blowing past it at the end.

TYPICAL CONSUMER JOURNEY FOR PURCHASES (LAPTOP) DURING THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL SEASON.

  • As far as laptops as a purchase item is concerned families in Canada spent $580 on average on laptops from their Back-To-School budget. Laptops are considered to be the biggest ticket items in the back-to-school shopping cart along with smartphones which cost $250.

COMPARISON BETWEEN NORMAL PURCHASE JOURNEY AND BACK-TO-SCHOOL SEASON PURCHASE JOURNEY.

  • The laptop computers price index for the entire year period of January 2018 to December 2018 was found to be 95.92.
  • During the back-to-school season this was not the case as for June it was 95.2, July it was 96.1, August it was 96.0 and September it was 95.5. Therefore, if we assume that prices drop when sales increase, in the June and September laptop sales, it can be assumed to have increased than normal as the price was lower than the average.
  • However, when we compared the entire CPI of the country for June (133.6) July (134.3) August (134.2) and September (133.7) of 2018 with the yearly value of 133.386 for 2018, we found that all four months had higher value indicating lower sales of all products together across back-to-school season as compared to the entire year.

RESEARCH methodology

To find information as regards the customer journey for purchasing a laptop during the back-to-school season in Canada, we began by looking into Market Research reports providing information on the overall laptop market in Canada and the effect of back-to-school season on it, especially from the consumer's perspective. A search was further carried out on reports published by reputed consultancies such as McKinsey, PWC, BCG, Bain, Deloitte Accenture as well as other market research reports published by Technavio research, GM Insights, Grandview research etc. However, none of these sources could provide any information relating to the spike in sales of laptops during the season but some of these sources provided some data on the typical consumer journey for overall purchases during back-to-school season in Canada.

We also looked into sources that provided information specific to Canada such as reports on the topic published in globalnews.ca, Statista, and the government website of Statistics Canada. The only data related to the request on the website of Statistics Canada was on the Laptop Price Index and the sales volume. (Source 6 and 7).

We also looked into reports published by laptop manufacturers such as Apple or Lenovo or sellers such as Amazon or Bestbuy Canada to understand the specific consumer journey for purchasing a laptop during the back-to-school season or increase in sales. However, these providers did not provide granular break-down for the country.

Due to the unavailability of the information using the aforementioned strategies, we decided to triangulate for the information by looking into other parameters that are often dependent upon the volume of sales. Using price as the parameter, the only data point available was laptop price index for the Canadian market which we compared for the assigned months with the yearly average. It was seen that the price index was higher in July and August but lower during June and September. This led us towards the assumption that these two months of June and September accelerates the journey. However, in the absence of more insights on the types of consumers making these purchases, it was not possible to ascertain whether the surge or acceleration was due to back-to-school season sales only.

We looked into sources such as government website of Statistics Canada, and reports published by all related stakeholders of the market such as Apple or Lenovo (Manufactures) or Amazon or Bestbuy (Sellers) and McKinsey, PWC, BCG, Bain, Deloitte Accenture (Third parties looking after the market). However, the specific month-wise information for the specific item could not be found as mentioned above.

We also expanded the criteria to include the entire North American market. However, most of them contained US-Specific information only. For the reports which contained entire North America insights, data pertaining to laptops and specific to the season were not available.

CALCULATIONS:

COMPUTER PRICE INDEX FOR LAPTOPS, MONTHLY, CANADA
  • January 2018: 96.6
  • February 2018: 95.9
  • March 2018: 96.1
  • April 2018: 96.0
  • May 2018: 96.3
  • June 2018: 95.2
  • July 2018: 96.1
  • August 2018: 96.0
  • September 2018: 95.5
  • October 2018: 95.8
  • November 2018: 95.7
  • December 2018: 95.8

The average of these above data points is 95.92 approximately.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

Back-to-School Season - Models/Frameworks

There are no notable statistics and models/frameworks for the typical consumer journey for purchasing a laptop during the back-to-school season in Canada. Below is a collection of findings that, however, provide insight into the topic.

Useful Findings:

  • From a survey published in 2017, in Global News, it was found that Canadians expected to spend CA$883 per family on back-to-school supplies and fashion in 2017 which was CA$325 more than they spent on holiday gifts in 2016.
  • With regard to the length of the entire purchase cycle, over 50% of parents said that shopping in preparation for the first day of school put a strain on household finances, while nearly 40% reported that it took months for them to pay off the bill.
  • With regard to laptops in specific, it was reported that families spent around $580 on average on laptops and over $250 on smartphones.
  • As indication of another touchpoint in the consumer journey during back-to-school purchases in Canada, it was found from a survey that more than one-third of parents made credit card purchases and said that they did not realize how much they were spending until they looked at their credit card statement.
  • During the period of August to September retailers offered deals such as gift cards or bundles when purchasing an item and students were offered education bundles such as added software or a free case for their laptop. However, these offers or deals were related to Apple laptops only.
  • According to a survey published by Statista, it was a common practice among families to purchase school supplies, clothes and personal computers, in preparation for the school season in Canada.
  • With regard to the consumer journey, it was also noted that 30% of Canadian students started back-to-school shopping two to three weeks in advance, while 28% of students waited until one week before school started to purchase the items they needed.
  • A similar insight with regard to parents, about 32% of parents shopped two to three weeks before school started, while about 25% preferred shopping one week in advance.
  • Although there was not much variance noted between parents and students in terms of the length of the purchasing cycle, there was a significant difference noted among parents and students in terms of spending. While in 2016, students planned to spend, on average, about CA$208 on back-to-school products, parents planned CA$480.
  • Approximately 91% of Canadian consumers believed that back-to-school shopping was becoming more expensive year after year, while 70% of young Canadians stated that they tried to stick to the bare minimum when shopping for back-to-school supplies.
  • In terms of locations for back-to-school purchases, mass merchandise stores such as Walmart are popular among young people in Canada for back-to-school shopping as about 66% of them said that they made their purchases at these stores, while 58% said that they preferred shopping at office supply store during the back-to-school shopping season.
  • As far as the popularity of back-to-school purchase items were concerned, in 2018, 83% of respondents said they planned to buy new clothing for their kids while doing back-to-school shopping, followed by 83% who preferred classroom supplies, 80% who preferred footwear, and 79% who preferred backpacks and lunch bags.
  • As far as influencers driving back-to-school purchases in Canada are concerned, it was found that 54% of respondents said that their own personal preference was the most influential in making back-to-school purchase decisions, followed by social media (12%), friends and family (10%), newspaper ads and flyers (9%), store websites (8%), and online ads and searches (6%).
  • As far as Computer Price Index is concerned, laptop computers as an overall category for the period January 2018 – December 2018 and was calculated to be: 95.92 (taking 2015 price as 100). During the back-to-school season i.e. from June to September the Computer Price Indexes were found to be: 95.2, 96.1, 96.0 and 95.5.


Research Strategy

To find the requested information, we started our research by looking into market research reports providing information on the overall laptop-market in Canada and the effect that the back-to-school season had on it, especially from the consumer's perspective. We searched for reports published by reputed consultancies (such as McKinsey, PWC, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, Accenture) as well as market research reports (such as those from Technavio research, GM Insights, Grandview Research). However, none of these sources could provide any information relating to the spike in the sales of laptops during back-to-school season. But, some of these sources provided data on the typical consumer journey for overall purchases during back-to-school season in Canada.

Next, we searched for specific information on the topic as it related to Canada, such as reports from Canadian media sites (such as Global News) and statistics databases (such as Statista, Statistics Canada). The only data related to the request on the website of Statistics Canada was on the Laptop Price Index and the sales volume. Sales data was available only for electronics and appliance stores, which did not provide any insight into laptops. Statista sources provided overall information on back-to-school purchases as a category.

We also looked into reports published by laptop manufacturers (such as Apple, Lenovo) or retailers (such as Amazon, Bestbuy Canada) to understand the model or increase in sales. However, these providers, all being big multinationals, did not provide a granular breakdown per country (Canada) and month (June-September) as a category.

Not finding the information as asked for in the request, we tried to triangulate the data.

Since information such as increase in the sales of laptops in Canada was not available, we looked into other parameters that are often dependent upon the volume of sales. Price was chosen as such a parameter. The only data point available was the Laptop Price Index for the market of Canada which we compared for the assigned months with the yearly average. It was seen that the price index was lower than the yearly average for the June-September 2018 period. However, in absence of more insights on the types of consumers making these purchases, it was not possible to ascertain whether the drop was due to back-to-school season sales only. (see calculations below)

We expanded the criteria for the entire North American market. However, most sources contained US-specific information only. For the reports which provided insight on all of North America, data pertaining to laptops and specific to the season was not available.

CALCULATIONS
Monthly Computer Price Index for laptops Canada
The 2015 value is considered to be 100

January 2018 : 96.6
February 2018 : 95.9
March 2018 : 96.1
April 2018 : 96.0
May 2018 : 96.3
June 2018 : 95.2
July 2018 : 96.1
August 2018 : 96.0
September 2018 : 95.5
October 2018 : 95.8
November 2018 : 95.7
December 2018 : 95.8

The average of these above data points came was 95.92 when approximated to two decimal places.
Part
07
of eight
Part
07

Back-to-School Season - Buying Habits of Parents and Students

Majority of parents of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Canada prefer to buy online than in-store during back-to-school shopping. They like to involve their kids in the shopping process. Post-secondary students use less than 4% of their total annual spend on back-to-school purchases, and they mostly buy shoes and electronic gadgets.

2017 survey by Ebates Canada of Canadian parents doing back-to-school shopping

INVOLVEMENT OF KIDS IN SHOPPING
  • 97% of parents involve their kids in the shopping process
  • 67% of parents take their kids along when going shopping in-store
  • 66% of parents involve kids in picking out products
  • 58% of parents let their kids make the shopping list
  • 47% of parents are teaching their children good financial habit by making them aware of the budget.
TOTAL AMOUNT SPENT ON SHOPPING
  • 72% of parents spend more than $100 on back-to-school shopping
  • On average, parents spend $183 on back-to-school shopping
  • Dads ($190) spend more generously than moms ($178)
ITEMS PURCHASED
  • 85% of parents shopped for supplies
  • 82% of parents shopped for clothing
  • 78% of parents shopped for footwear
  • 77% of parents shopped for backpacks/lunch bags
  • 24% shopped for electronic items
ONLINE AND IN-STORE
  • 67% parents had plans to do at least some of their back-to-school shopping online in 2017.
  • In 2017, 77% of dads were more likely to shop online against 61% of moms
  • 39% of parents feel that the best prices and offers are found online
  • 38% of parents prefer the ease and convenience of shopping online
  • 69% of parents search retailer websites for deals
  • 46% of parents search for online coupons/promo codes
  • 33% of parents sign up for email notification of sales/promotions
  • 32% of parents use cash back websites
  • 28% of parents use mobile apps to find deals
  • 28% of parents use social media to find deals

2018 SURVEY BY RETAILMENOT OF CANADIAN PARENTS DOING BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING

ITEM-WISE SPENDING
  • Parents spend an average of $189 on clothes
  • Parents spend an average of $186 on electronics
  • Parents spend an average of $95 on shoes
  • Parents spend an average of $45 on backpacks
  • Parents spend an average of $24 for art supplies
  • Parents spend on an average of $15 on pencils
  • Parents spend on an average of $15 on folders
  • 92% of parents are buying clothes in 2018
  • 89% of parents are buying shoes in 2018
  • 37% of parents are buying technology items in 2018
ONLINE AND IN-STORE
  • 96% will shop in a brick-and-mortar store at least once
  • 58% plan to do the majority of their shopping in-store
  • 50% find in-store shopping stressful

2018 SURVEY BY CNW GROUP/EBATES CANADA OF CANADIAN PARENTS DOING BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING

ONLINE AND IN-STORE
  • 67% of parents were planning to do at least some of their back-to-school shopping online
  • 67% of parents were planning to allot 31% of their back-to-school shopping budget to online shopping
  • 33% of parents said their online shopping spend for 2018 will be as much or even more than 2017
  • 67% of parents search retailer websites for deals
  • 51% of parents search for online coupons/promo codes
  • 38% of parents sign up for email notification of sales/promotions
  • 37% of parents use cash back websites (5% more than 2017)
  • 31% of parents use mobile apps to find deals
  • 28% of parents use social media to find deals
TOTAL AMOUNTS PARENTS SPEND ON ITEMS.
  • On average, parents expected to spend $166 for the back-to-school shopping in 2018
  • 83% of parents purchase supplies such as pencils and erasers
  • 83% of parents purchase clothing.
  • 80% of parents purchase footwear.
  • 79% of parents purchase back packs/lunch bags.
  • 18% of parents purchase electronic items.

ANNUAL SURVEY BY NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION

  • Canadian parents (of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students), spent 8% more in 2017 than in the previous year, for their back-to-school shopping.
  • 57% of parents (of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students) in 2018 will shop at department stores, 54% at discount stores, 46% each at clothing stores and online, and 36% at office supply stores.
  • For those parents shopping online, 91% plan to take advantage of free shipping and 54% will buy online and pick up in-store.
  • Children's influence on back-to-school shopping decisions of parents is growing and also the parents' willingness to pay more.
  • 27% of parents planned to shop two months before the beginning of school, 21% planned to wait until the last week or two before school starts.
  • Of those parents shopping early, 60% say they are trying to spread out their budgets, 48% don’t want to miss out on sales, and 43% want to avoid crowds.

CIBC SURVEY IN 2017, A CANADIAN POST-SECONDARY STUDENT SPENDS $14,000 PER YEAR

POST SECONDARY
  • The category, post-secondary in the context of this research is, university certificate or diploma below bachelor level, and synonymous with under graduate.
  • A post-secondary student spends $700 on books which is part of the back-to-school purchase.
  • A post-secondary student spends less than 4% of his annual spend on back-to-school shopping (see detailed calculation in the research strategy section).
  • Post-secondary students mostly buy Shoes, Clothing and electronic gadgets.
  • According to the Globe and Mail student survey 2018, a post-secondary student must have 5 back-to-school items- laptop, smart phone, notepad and pen, USB flash drive, white board.

YOUR RESEARCH TEAM APPLIED THE FOLLOWING STRATEGIES:

We consulted sites like Euro-monitor, Deloitte, and Statistics Canada among others. However, this search did not reveal any data that can address the request concerned. As a next strategy, the researcher tried to identify the specific things parents of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students and also post-secondary students purchase in the back-to-school season. We included a number of surveys such as a survey by Ebates Canada that revealed many insights into the back-to-school shopping habits of Canadian parents. We also included a 2018 survey conducted by Retailmenot which provided the percentages of parent spend in different categories when they do back-to-school shopping.

Finding the shopping habits of post secondary students was quite challenging as most studies and surveys focus on parent spending habits even if they are examining the category of post secondary students. A CIBC survey in 2017 showed a Canadian post-secondary student spends $14,000 per year but a split up is not given on how much of this goes directly to educational fee and how much to shopping and other needs. Text books are usually bought in the back-to-school purchase and a post secondary student spends $700 on books and course materials, according to a survey conducted among under graduate students in 2017 by Mcleans.ca. As Statistics Canada, the Canadian government statistics portal defines post secondary in this context as university certificate or diploma below bachelor level, the under graduate mentioned above is the same as post secondary. The survey also says, post secondary students spend 40% of their annual spend on rent, 34% on tuition, 5% on food on campus, 1% for extracurricular activities, 2% for daily travel, 3% for alcohol, 4% for traveling home, and 8% for grocery purchase and 4% for books and course materials. All these taken together amounts to 101% of the total annual spend. The total of the percentages come to 101%, an anomaly that can be attributed the rounding off of the percentages. From this survey and percentages, it is clear, a post secondary student spends only less than 4% of his/her annual spend on back-to-school purchases because only the 'books and course material' category can be included as part of the back-to-school shopping list.

The calculation is as given below:
Rent- 40%
Tuition- 34%
Food on campus- 5%
Extracurricular activities- 1%
Daily Travel- 2%
Alcohol- 3%
Traveling home- 4%
Grocery purchase — 8%
Books and other course materials-4%
Total percentage — 40+34+5+1+2+3+4+8+4= 101%
Total percentage excluding the percentage of books and other course materials= 40+34+5+1+2+3+4+8 = 97%
As the total percentage amounts to 101% and as the total percentage excluding the percentage of books and other materials amounts to 97%, to be on the safer side, it is concluded that the back-to-school purchases by post secondary students is less than 4% of their annual spend.



Part
08
of eight
Part
08

Back-to-School Season - Sales Opportunity

In 2019, the forecasted revenue of laptop and tablet market in Canada is expected to be $2,483.07 million and reach to $2,456.3 million by 2021. Staples Canada has showcased various windows based laptops on promotion from various brands including Asus and HP particularly for Canadian citizen which are in the price range of $200-$400+.

STAPLES

  • The company was acquired by Sycamore Partners in the year 2017 and has turned out to be private firm since then. The company doesn't possess the liability to produce any financial information, annual reports or other related information publicly.
  • Staples Canada has showcased various windows based laptops on promotion from various brands including Asus and HP particularly for Canadian citizen which are in the price range of $200-$400+. But there is no specification on particular holiday season sale or related to Back-to-School promotion.
  • According to a press release on PR news wire, Staples Canada in the past year released Staples Canada Holiday Survey and shared information on the purchase gifts and/or stocking stuffers during the 2018 holiday season. The company also reported that they are easing the stress around back-to-school for Canadians for a long time.

OTHER INFORMATION

  • In 2019, the forecasted revenue of laptop and tablet market in Canada is expected to be $2,483.07 million and reach to $2,456.3 million by 2021. (Screenshots here).
  • The market research report by Erie News Now shares that the Office Supplies market is expected to grow by the end of 2025. The report covers North America along with revenue and sales reports from Staples. But the research findings are secured behind paid walls.
  • According to Statista, the Back-to-School market in Canada usually involves expenditure planning among parents and students and product research where through a past survey report it was found 30% of Canadian students start back-to-school shopping two to three weeks in advance, and 28% of students leave it until one week in advance of school starting before purchasing the items they need.
  • Statista findings shared that 92% of Canadian consumers believe that back-to-school shopping is a financial burden and 68% stick to spending only on bare minimum back-to-school supplies.
  • The National Retail Federation (NRF) which is the world’s largest retail trade association highlights that back-to-school sales is one of the top consumer events with $684.79 million sales registered in 2018. The NRF every year reports the "Back-to-school and college spending report", but the latest report available is from the year 2018 and doesn't share any forecast for the year 2019 or related to laptop sales in North America/Canada.
  • According to NPD, as the shopping trends are changing the timing of back-to-school shopping and what consumers are focusing their spending on has become less consistent and predictable in recent years. Electronics remain the top choice in back-to-school shopping.
  • According to the 2019 retail calendar, the back-to-school shopping season is expected to start in September 2019.
  • Retail Council of Canada is a government body which advocates for retailers in the country through effective advocacy, communications, and education.

RESEARCH STRATEGY:

To identify the information on the forecasted sales opportunity of Windows-based laptops in Canada during the 2019 back-to-school season by the company Staples, we firstly searched through the official website of the company -staples.com and searched through there annual reports, financial information, press release and news where on through the search it was found that the company was acquired by Sycamore Partners in the year 2017 and has turned out to be private firm since then, they have not published or have no obligation to release any financial information, annual reports or other related information publicly.
Additionally, through researching the Staples Canada website, it was found that the company has not released any information on their back-to-school promotion/sales plans in the country. Although they had on promotion sales running on few Windows-based laptops which ranged from $200-$400+ exclusively for Canadian citizens no further relevant details were found.

Further, we expanded my scope and scanned credible news forums related to Staples forecast on their Sales/revenue in 2019 or insights by retailer community on expected revenues they expected through laptop sales during the Back-to-School season wherein I looked through sources like Chain Store Age, The Street, PR news Wire, Crunchbase, Laptop Mag, CBC Canada. Through the search it was found that the most of the information was related to the United States sales forecast on holiday season sales but not for Canada or the information available for the country was related to the past year studies and forecast (2018) but not for 2019, hence this search could not render relevant findings.
Along with the above, we looked through various retail news forums such as Retail Me Not, Retail Drive, and Retail Insider, to find the relevant information pertaining to there expectation on sales during the 2019 Back-to-school season or time period (June to September) related to technology/laptop products, but the information found was largely related to the past year (2018) holiday season sales or top products purchased by consumers during the Back-to-school holiday season.

Then, we tried to look for credible market research reports pertaining to Canada/North America to identify the sales opportunities/forecasted sales of laptops in the country during the Back-to-school season or time period (June to September) and further correlate the expected sales sources (brick-motor/online/retail). For the same, we searched through market reports from NPD, NRF, Statista, and Deloitte. The search resulted in insights related to the forecasted revenue from laptop sales in Canada in 2019 but didn't find any backup data/relevant source to identify the revenue specific to Back-to-school season or time period (June to September).
Also, we came across a paid market research report by Erie News Now which shared the insights on the forecasted sales for the office supplies in the North American region along with insights from the company Staples. But the findings were restricted behind the paid walls.

Moving further, we tried to explore the retail association in Canada and identify any related retail reports on the countries forecasted sales/revenue from technology/laptop products pertaining to the Back-to-school season or time period (June to September) wherein we looked through retailers associations in Canada like IC, Retail Council, and CQCD but the information publicly available was related to the current trends and sales figures for technology products.

Also, we tried to gather related information from other retailers in Canada such as Walmart Canada, Best Buy Canada, and Amazon Canada and individually searched through their websites, news section, and press releases to identify any information related to their forecast on sales in terms of laptops/Electronics/technology products during the 2019 Back-to-school season or time period (June to September) but none of them shared there views or opinions or forecast. The retail companies in Canada were more confined to share their statistics on other past holiday seasons (Independence day, boxer day, etc).
Hence, in view of the above results, it is concluded that no relevant information was found for the forecasted sales opportunity of laptops during the 2019 back-to-school season at Staples.
Sources
Sources

From Part 05
Quotes
  • " The purchase of school supplies, clothes and personal computers, for instance, is a common practice amongst families that prepare for school season. Merchandising and retailers named this period prior to the beginning of the school year as back-to-school season."
  • "According to a 2016 survey among Canadian consumers, 80 percent stated that they planned to buy new clothing for their children during back-to-school shopping. About 75 percent of them were planning to purchase shoes, whereas school suppliers made it to the shopping list of 74 percent of Canadian consumers. Backpacks, textbooks, beauty and grooming products are also popular products among back-to-school shoppers."
  • "In terms of timing, about 30 percent of Canadian students said they start back-to-school shopping two to three weeks in advance, and 28 percent of students leave it till one week in advance of school starting before purchasing the items they need. "
  • "Canadian parents also start back-to-school shopping around the same time; about 32 percent of them stated shopping with two to three weeks in advance, and about a quarter of them said they prefer shopping one week in advance. "
  • "In 2016, students plan to spend, on average, about 208 Canadian dollars on back-to-school products. Parents' planned expenditure is more than double this figure, with parents planning to spend an average of 480 Canadian dollars while shopping for back-to-school items."
Quotes
  • "And yet, when it comes to back-to-school spending, most parents have the right idea but fall short on implementation. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians say they set a budget, but fully, 56 per cent admit to blowing past it."
  • "More than one-third of parents said they generally don’t realize how much they’re spending until they look at their credit card statement, the survey shows."
  • "Tech gadgets are the biggest-ticket items in the back-to-school budget, according to the survey, with families dropping around $580 on average on laptops and over $250 on smartphones."
  • "Over half of parents said that shopping in preparation for the first day of school puts a strain on household finances, with nearly 40 per cent reporting that it takes months for them to pay off the bill."
Quotes
  • "This statistic shows the leading factors influencing back-to-school product purchase decisions in Canada in 2016. During the survey, 54 percent of respondents said that their own personal preference was the most influential in making back-to-school purchase decisions."
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "Canadians expect to spend a whopping $883 per family on back-to-school supplies and fashion this year, $325 more than they spent on holiday gifts last year, according to a new survey. Over half of parents said that shopping in preparation for the first day of school puts a strain on household finances, with nearly 40 per cent reporting that it takes months for them to pay off the bill."
  • "Tech gadgets are the biggest-ticket items in the back-to-school budget, according to the survey, with families dropping around $580 on average on laptops and over $250 on smartphones. School supplies cost around $100 per family, while clothes and shoes account for another $300."
  • "It adds up quickly. More than one-third of parents said they generally don’t realize how much they’re spending until they look at their credit card statement, the survey shows."
Quotes
  • "There’s always a lot of hype around Apple releases; they usually launch new products in September,” she says. “Although their products rarely go on sale, that’s when retailers will try to sweeten the deal by offering gift cards or bundles with a purchase. Students can score great education bundles like added software or a free case for their laptop in August and September."
Quotes
  • "The purchase of school supplies, clothes and personal computers, for instance, is a common practice amongst families that prepare for school season. "
  • "According to a 2016 survey among Canadian consumers, 80 percent stated that they planned to buy new clothing for their children during back-to-school shopping. About 75 percent of them were planning to purchase shoes, whereas school suppliers made it to the shopping list of 74 percent of Canadian consumers. "
  • "In terms of timing, about 30 percent of Canadian students said they start back-to-school shopping two to three weeks in advance, and 28 percent of students leave it till one week in advance of school starting before purchasing the items they need. Canadian parents also start back-to-school shopping around the same time; about 32 percent of them stated shopping with two to three weeks in advance, and about a quarter of them said they prefer shopping one week in advance. "
  • "In 2016, students plan to spend, on average, about 208 Canadian dollars on back-to-school products. Parents' planned expenditure is more than double this figure, with parents planning to spend an average of 480 Canadian dollars while shopping for back-to-school items. Despite the difference in planned budgets between these two types of consumers, the majority of Canadian agree that purchasing back-to-school items can be a financial burden on families."
  • "About 91 percent of Canadian consumers also believe that back-to-school shopping is becoming more expensive year after year. This general attitude towards back-to-school shopping is reflected in young people’s attitude towards back-to-school shopping as well. About 70 percent of young Canadians stated that they try to stick to the bare minimum when shopping for back-to-school supplies."
  • "Mass merchandise stores such as Walmart are popular among young people in Canada for back-to-school shopping. About 66 percent of them said that they shopped at these stores for back-to-school items, while 58 percent said they prefer shopping at office supply store during back-to-school shopping season. "
Quotes
  • "This statistic shows the share of consumers who plan to buy back-to-school items in 2018, by category. During the survey, 83 percent of respondents said they planned to buy new clothing for their kids while back-to-school shopping."
Quotes
  • "This statistic shows the leading factors influencing back-to-school product purchase decisions in Canada in 2016. During the survey, 54 percent of respondents said that their own personal preference was the most influential in making back-to-school purchase decisions."
From Part 07
Quotes
  • "Postsecondary education refers to those whose highest level of educational attainment is an apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma (including 'centres de formation professionnelle'); college, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma; university certificate or diploma below bachelor level; or a university degree (bachelor's degree; university certificate or diploma above bachelor level; degree in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or optometry; master's degree; earned doctorate). "
Quotes
  • "Mcleans Canada is a more than 100-year old Canadian news magazine"