Pinterest Emerges as Top Back to School Platform for U.S. Shoppers; Blogs & Social Media Rival Traditional Formats for Purchase Influence

Crowdtap Study Reveals Consumer Behavior Ahead of Back to School Shopping Season

June 2, 2016

New York, NY (June 2, 2016) — While families around the country are readying their summer plans and waiting for that final bell, marketers are already ramping up their back to school marketing efforts – and with good reason. Per new research from Crowdtap, a social engagement and insights platform, many U.S. adults are already starting their back to school shopping.

Crowdtap’s study polled 300 U.S. adults* who said they planned on leading their families back to school shopping efforts this year. The survey specifically explored shopping behaviors around three key categories: clothing, school supplies and food/snacks. The study was fielded within Crowdtap’s member community and utilized the platform’s agile research tools.

Respondents said blogs and social media conversations rival traditional advertising formats (e.g. magazine circulars and TV ads) when it comes to what drives back to school purchases. When asked what influences back to school shopping decisions most, 37 percent of shoppers cited blogs and social media; 36 percent cited traditional media and 27 percent cited online ratings and reviews.

The study also revealed that one-in-four U.S. adults said they would utilize Pinterest for back to school shopping planning – proving that Pinterest’s 100 million+ users plan to lean on pins and boards to discover and organize their back to school purchases.

Key Findings

  • Pinterest is BIG for back to school. Crowdtap’s research found that 27 percent of back to school shoppers plan to organize their shopping lists via Pinterest boards. Pinterest is also an important destination for lunchtime and/or snack inspiration in particular: twenty-five percent of shoppers said they will lean on Pinterest to unearth creative recipe ideas for back to school lunches and snacks.
  • Despite ecommerce growth, shopping in physical stores reigns supreme. Most shoppers polled said they favor shopping in physical stores over both retailer websites and destinations like for clothing (64 percent) and school supplies (70 percent).
  • Purchase decisions for back to school vary by category. When it comes to clothing purchases, shoppers value sales & promotions above factors such as value (quality for the cost) brand loyalty, convenience and sustainability. For school supplies and snacks, value is the most important determinant, above sales & promotions.

“Back to school shopping is one of the most time-honored traditions for American families – and the process is increasingly starting in the places where U.S. consumers are spending their media time: with social media content that’s created by expert creators and their peers,” said Claudia Page, VP of Platform and Creator Partnerships at Crowdtap. “While families still favor the in-store shopping experience for back to school, digital is playing a material role in the discovery process.”

For more information on this study, click here.

*Crowdtap fielded this research over two days in April 2016. Respondents reflected a 50-50 male-female split, with an average age of 35.

About Crowdtap

Crowdtap is an award-winning marketing technology firm based in New York, which creates on-demand and meaningful connections between brands and consumers through consumer insights, consumer ratings and reviews, and influencer activations. Through instant ideation, feedback and validation, Crowdtap help brands stay on pace with culture and ahead of trends.

Since its founding in 2009, Crowdtap has worked with top brands including General Mills, Heineken, Kraft Foods, P&G, Verizon, Walmart and Yum Brands, and has received numerous accolades for its work from The Shorty Awards, WOMMA and OMMA, among others. Crowdtap has also been named a top place to work by Fortune, one of America's Most Promising Companies by Forbes, and recognized for its growth by Advertising Age and Mashable. Visit for more information.



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