Back to School: Shopping Trends in Germany

As the summer holidays come to an end, it’s time to gear up for the back-to-school season. To better understand consumer behaviour during this period, DCMN conducted a nationwide study among 2,000 German consumers. The DCMN Brand Tracker collected valuable insights that shed light on spending patterns, preferred shopping channels, and the top items on parents’ shopping lists. In this blog post, we will dive into the findings and discuss the key trends for the upcoming Back to School period.

Expenses and Shopping Occasions

Before we explore the Back to School trends we asked ourselves: how does this period compare to other annual occasions such as Christmas and Black Friday? In the eyes of the consumers, which one comes first in terms of expenses? According to the survey, German consumers identified Christmas and Black Friday as the top periods with the highest expenses. Christmas leads the pack with 67% of respondents, while 27% mentioned Black Friday. Interestingly, Back to School and Mother’s Day follow closely behind as the third biggest occasions, with 12% of respondents considering them significant shopping periods. It’s worth noting that women tend to spend more during Christmas compared to men, while men show a higher inclination towards Black Friday shopping. 

Back to School Spending

When it comes to Back to School shopping, 40% of parents stated that their spending would remain the same as the previous year. This indicates a certain level of stability in terms of budgeting for school supplies and related items. However, a further 30% expect to spend more than the previous year and another 10% less than the previous year.

With a total of 70% of parents planning to spend the same or more, the Back to School period promises to be crucial for many brands.

What is on the Shopping List

The DCMN Brand Tracker revealed the key items that parents prioritise when preparing their children for the upcoming school year. School supplies top the list, with 61% of parents indicating it as a primary focus. This category includes essentials such as notebooks, pencils, erasers, and other stationery items. Books also play a significant role in Back to School shopping, with 53% of parents planning to purchase them for their children. Additionally, 49% of parents listed shoes as a priority, emphasising the importance of comfortable and durable footwear for the school year ahead.

Preferred Shopping Channels

In the age of e-commerce, online shopping continues to gain popularity, and the Back to School period is no exception. The survey findings revealed that 52% of parents prefer online stores like Amazon for their Back to School purchases. The convenience of online shopping, coupled with a wide selection and competitive prices, makes it an attractive option for busy parents. However, interestingly, the study also found that 44% of parents expressed a desire to engage in more comparative shopping this year. This suggests that parents are becoming increasingly savvy and are willing to explore different online platforms and physical stores to find the best deals and offers.


As the Back to School period approaches, the insights collected by the DCMN Brand Tracker provide valuable information about consumer behaviour in Germany. The study revealed that while Christmas and Black Friday remain the highest spending periods overall, Back to School and Mother’s Day hold significance as well. Parents plan to allocate their budgets accordingly, with school supplies, books, and shoes taking centre stage. Furthermore, the prevalence of online shopping, particularly through platforms like Amazon, highlights the convenience and efficiency that digital channels offer. However, the desire for comparative shopping indicates a growing trend of parents seeking the best value for their money.

As brands and retailers gear up for the Back to School season, understanding these insights will help them better cater to the needs and preferences of German consumers. By offering competitive prices, a wide selection of products, and a seamless online shopping experience, brands can position themselves to capture the attention and loyalty of parents during this crucial shopping period.

Learn moreReferences

1. DCMN Brand Tracker – monthly survey among 2000 German consumers conducted by DCMN. For the Back to School period number of German customers was 902, since we surveyed only those with children.

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