2024’s Back-to-School eCommerce Playbook: Trends in Grocery and Personal Care


Back to School Blog, 2024

While the summer heat might be in full force now, the familiar hustle of back-to-school is quickly approaching, and shopping takes center stage for many U.S. families. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 34 percent of U.S. adults are gearing up to shop for the upcoming school year. This annual tradition is not just a staple of the season but a significant retail event.

In 2024, back-to-school shopping will be deal-driven and largely online

Setting the scene for 2024, back-to-school spending soared to unprecedented heights last year, with expenditures reaching an all-time high of $41.5 billion, or $890.07 per person. Similarly, back-to-college shopping also set new records with a total of $94 billion, translating to $1,366.95 per household. Further, the convenience of online shopping is winning shoppers over, with 55 percent of consumers opting to buy their school supplies online. As eCommerce-enabled brands prepare for this significant shopping season, understanding these trends can provide valuable insights into consumer behavior and spending patterns.

This year, 68 percent of shoppers are planning their back-to-school and college purchases around major retail events such as Prime Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day sales, maintaining the trend from last year and marking a notable increase from 55 percent in 2019. Pay attention to key shopping dates this year, especially July 16th and 17th for Amazon Prime Day. Additionally, be aware of some states' tax-free days for school supplies, as shoppers might be more likely to buy in these states.


Implementing a retailer-linking strategy with an eCommerce enablement solution like MikMak can help drive shoppers to the best deals, increasing their likelihood of purchasing your products.

For Grocery brands, utilizing a mix of paid search and multi-retailer checkout on brand websites could capture the most active shoppers this back-to-school season 

Beyond the typical school supplies, Grocery is a category majorly affected by the back-to-school wave. To measure shopper traffic to Grocery brands, MikMak looks at a metric called Purchase Intent Clicks, which shows each time a consumer clicks through from media to a retailer option.


Looking back at the past month, the MikMak Shopping Index showed that Grocery brand media displayed in Search has driven the most in-market traffic for Grocery shoppers, driving 38.6 percent of Purchase Intent Clicks.


Meanwhile,  at 28 percent, Brand Websites show the highest Purchase Intent Rate, which measures the likelihood of conversion. This means that Grocery brands utilizing MikMak for Brand Websites might have an especially prime opportunity to win with consumers this back-to-school season.

Grocery brands might also want to consider innovative content mediums, such as Shoppable Recipes, to engage shoppers and create a convenient shopping experience when they are deciding what to buy for back-to-school meals.

Meta is driving the most traffic to Grocery brands right now; YouTube is most likely to convert


When looking at social platforms alone, Meta dominates the Grocery category in terms of traffic, driving 65.3 percent of Purchase Intent Clicks in the past month. TikTok is second at 18.3 percent. YouTube, Pinterest, and Snap round out the social channels, driving 12.7, 7.8, and 5.3 percent of the Purchase Intent Clicks, respectively.


As social media sees a large amount of traffic compared to most other channel types, Purchase Intent Rates can trend lower than those of other types. However, when looking at social channels, the media on YouTube is most likely to convert, driving a purchase intent rate of 2.3 percent in the last 30 days. Pinterest and Meta followed with Purchase Intent Rates of 1.6 and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Digital Grocery is projected to become the largest eCommerce category by 2026.  Is your brand ready? Read our eCommerce Benchmarks & Insights for Multichannel  Grocery Brands for more.

Social Media drives the most traffic to Personal Care brands; Brand Websites and Search see the most conversions 


Looking at another popular brand category for back-to-school, Personal Care has seen especially high traffic on Social platforms in the past 30 days, with 80.7 percent of Purchase Intent Clicks coming from Social sources. This could be due to brands placing the majority of their ad spend on social. 


Meanwhile, when it comes to conversions, Brand Websites, and search ads show the highest Purchase Intent Rates for Personal Care brands, both just above 19 percent. Personal Care brands may consider investing in these channels to capture consumers ahead of back-to-school season.

Meta shows the highest traffic and likelihood of conversion for Personal Care brands right now 


When looking at social platforms alone, Meta leads the Personal Care category in terms of traffic, driving 65.4 percent of Purchase Intent Clicks in the past month. Pinterest is second at 14.2 percent. TikTok, YouTube, and Snap round out the social channels, driving 10.8, 5.3, and 4.3 percent of the Purchase Intent Clicks, respectively.


When looking at Purchase Intent Rates, Meta is also most likely to convert, driving a Purchase Intent Rate of 6.2 percent in the last 30 days. Pinterest and YouTube follow with Purchase Intent Rates of 4.4 and 4.2 percent, respectively. 

Enhance your eCommerce strategy and stay close to the data to see the best results this back-to-school season

As school time approaches, it is important to be where your consumers shop. Using eCommerce analytics software like MikMak can help your brand learn where your products are being shopped for the most.

Meanwhile, as we get even closer to the school year, last-mile delivery and convenient checkout options can help drive even more last-minute purchases as August and September approach. MikMak recently announced a first-of-its-kind integration with Doordash that can help provide this convenient checkout option to consumers, while your brand can gain access to closed-loop sales attribution data

Learn more about how MikMak can help your brand during back-to-school season and beyond; schedule a demo today.

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