Here’s what a COVID back-to-school looks like…

Here’s what a COVID back-to-school looks like…


When 86% of summer activities are cancelled—back to school, doesn’t equal back to normal.

And, here’s why:

  • 70% have concerns about their children’s health related to COVID.
  • 61% trust state or local govt’s the most in regards to campus shutdowns.

But, here’s what’s interesting. 

Parents actually plan to spend more if kids don’t go back to school—and a full 58% don’t think they’ll go back.

Let’s talk about what it means to you:

#1: New wants and needs.

53% of parents exiting Walmart and Target are buying things they wouldn’t normally buy. So, we asked what they bought (that they normally wouldn’t) just to get a glimpse:

Clearly not everyone has enough masks yet… And it looks like Covid-19 is raising the purchases on toys, hygiene items, candy and more even as we move toward the end of July.

Ask yourself, where do you fit into this picture?

What are your consumers’ changing needs?

If research is required, reach out.

#2: Spending is up.

52% of parent shoppers plan to spend more if kids stay home.


They’ll be busy entertaining and educating them through a school year. And, that’s a big ask. 

This means families will keep spending on ways to try and stay healthy. In fact, parents say that if schools stay closed: 43% plan to spend more on health/wellness products.

So, if you’re in the health and wellness space, spend some time thinking of your buyer. 

And, if you don’t know what they want yet, find out.

#3: More time indoors.

Remember the Tiger King?

He blew up back in March. And, not because of an awesome shirt. A quarantine boosts in-home entertainment. Less people go outside, and more look to TV—because, sanity people.

Expect indoor entertainment to stay elevated as long as campuses are shut down. In fact, when we asked, we found that parents plan to spend:

  • 53% more on books, board games, and toys.
  • 37% more on movies and streaming.
  • 41% more on video games.

And, fewer parents plan to spend more time outside:

  • 19% more on sports and outdoor activities.
  • 7% more on trips and vacations.

So, think about your brand. Figure out what they want, and meet their needs. 

#4: Restaurants, get creative.

In the battle of eat in versus eat out, groceries—eating in—wins by a landslide.

It’s simpler for families. And, supermarkets are adapting…adding one-way aisles, self-checkouts, glass protection panes, and pre-washed shopping carts.

Not only that, but 76% of people are now buying their groceries online and picking up in-store.1 

In this environment restaurants need to innovate. 

#5. We’ll keep working from home.

Let’s peek in at the parents…

  • 55% are working at home with kids present. 
  • 62% say they’re as (or more productive) at home.

You know, every company has wondered if this was possible, for years. And, if their people could be productive. The early news looks promising; more time is needed to find a trend.

And, a question remains—what does it mean long term, if we all work from home?

Time to think about it. We should be creative in the process. Think about shared office space, work from home policies, and having more options to choose from. After all, we’ve been thrown into a crisis that’s created quite a test bed. Now is the time to do the research.

If you’re curious what employees think, find out.

How does it all play out?

We don’t know.

Here’s the good news. You have an opportunity. The glass is half full. Or, half empty. Your choice. Perspective is a funny thing that way. When all is said and done, 58% will continue to use new brands that they’ve found.2 So, I’d say, the glass is half-full. 

Take a look at your brand.

Listen to what consumers have to say. Check in on your customer experience. 

Get started with brick and mortar and e-commerce research.



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