Moms plan to increase their spending for the first time in two years.

School Family Media, Inc., a marketing and media services company focused exclusively on promoting and enabling meaningful parent involvement at K-8 schools (and sponsor of M2Moms), recently released the results of their second annual Back-to-School Shopping Survey. The 2012 online survey with over 1,500 women respondents who have school aged children indicated increased spending during back-to-school 2012 but value is still a priority.

j0439398 “We work with moms all year, across all demographics, who are engaged with their kids’ education, so we were uniquely positioned to gain and share some insights about moms’ attitudes regarding back-to-school shopping,” said John Driscoll, President – Consumer Connections, School Family Media. “There is a clear indication that for the first time in three years, moms anticipate spending more during the 2012 back-to-school season.”

Moms are also increasingly active online and using technology to find the best value for their dollar. However, the tradition of shopping in brick and mortar stores for back-to-school is still strong.

According to the survey, moms are:

Spending more for back-to-school in 2012

The percentage of moms indicating they were going to spend more increased vs. the same survey School Family Media did last year and the average spend was $641.14 which was up more than 6% compared to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 back-to-school survey, where moms anticipated spending $603.63. The top categories that moms intend to increase their spending are: clothing and food and beverage products for school lunches/after school snacks.

Spending more on food and beverage as well as clothing

Moms are increasing the money allocated for food and clothing this year with 38% of respondents anticipating spending more on food and beverage products for school lunches and after school snacks and 36% spending more on clothing. Closely following clothing are basic school supplies, where 34.5% of moms anticipate increasing their spend.

Looking for value

Even though moms plan on spending more, value and promotional offers still strongly influence where they purchase. 76.2% ranked price/coupon/promotional offer as their number one influencer for where they shop. Convenience of shopping location followed price as a top influencer at 56.5%

Purchasing at mass merchandise stores rather than online

Respondents strongly preferred shopping at mass merchandiser outlets (77.6%) vs. online (2.4%) showing that even though moms are becoming more technologically savvy, they are still shopping at brick and mortar stores for back-to-school. Right behind the large box stores are retail drugstores and office supply stores.

Finding the deals digitally

While moms may not be making the bulk of their back-to-school purchases online, they do prefer to receive information about products and promotions digitally. The top two preferred sources of information for back-to school products and promotions were: email from brand/store and brand/store websites. Social networks still lagged overall (5.1%) compared to “older digital” such as email and websites.

Still shopping after the kids are in school

A surprising 25% of respondents are in no rush to finish their back-to-school shopping. These moms are planning on finishing up their lists after the kids are already settled in their classrooms. The top items left to purchase after school starts are technology products (43.5%) with clothing coming in second (22.8%).

For more information and complete survey results, contact John Driscoll at And hear even more great stats on Moms from School Family Media at M2Moms!