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7 Back-To-School Essentials for Online Retailers

back to school written on a board with stationery

Preparing for the school year becomes top of mind among parents and kids as the summer days start waning, with back-to-school essentials helping to foster a seamless transition from vacation to learning modes. These items also play a pivotal role in how children learn in a productive and organized manner.

The ever-changing needs of students notwithstanding, we have carefully curated a remarkable collection of back-to-school essentials that meet the preferences and needs of your customers.  

Our unique selection covers everything from innovative tech devices that boost learning experiences to ergonomically designed backpacks that prioritize style and comfort. Trust us, this list will maximize your back-to-school sales.

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Why back-to-school essentials are in high demand
Essential school supplies

Why back-to-school essentials are in high demand

Growing sales of school supplies and stationery through online distribution channels will help accelerate the expansion of this global industry in the coming years. The global back-to-school market, estimated to be worth US $171.8 billion in 2021, is anticipated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% from 2022 to 2028.

A recent National Retail Federation survey shows that people are spending unprecedented amounts on back-to-school shopping, including items such as shoes, clothing, and accessories.

The same survey reveals that tablets, calculators, laptops, headphones, electronic accessories, smartphones, and speakers are among the products most back-to-school shoppers seek.

In the next section, we’ll dissect the back-to-school essentials that most likely will positively impact your revenue. 

Essential school supplies 

Without further ado, here are the must-have school supplies that most shoppers are searching for:

Must-have stationery

School stationery, including notebook, pens, pins, tape

The following are must-have stationery items that customers seek. They include notebooks, reliable pens, erasers, colorful highlighters, sticky notes, transparent rulers, scissors, paper clips, and a good stapler.

These essentials can help to facilitate effective learning, help learners stay organized, and promote productivity. Students need these tools to complete assignments and take notes, as well as foster a sense of academic preparedness for the school year ahead.

Backpacks and lunchboxes for convenience and style

A blue schoolbag full of stationery

Lunchboxes and backpacks are also crucial items customers stock up on as they prepare for the new academic year. They are available in various shapes and styles, guaranteeing convenience, functionality, and the likelihood of matching the personal preferences of consumers, no matter their tastes.

Lunchbox with fruit and veggies

Stocking ergonomic backpacks, designed with multiple compartments to help students stay organized, is a no-brainer, while it’s best to choose lunchboxes made of easy-to-clean materials and insulated interiors. The latter ensures food stays fresh and safe, keeping at just the right temperature for extended periods. Meanwhile, stylish waterproof backpacks with complementary lunchboxes create a fashionable and cohesive look.

Tech gadgets to aid learning

A student studying on a tablet

Technology has become a driving force in the education sector, opening up new possibilities in learning and better preparing pupils for what lies ahead. It allows individualized learning, greater differentiation, varied assessments, and real-world integration.

With students increasingly inhabiting tech-driven environments, the most popular school gadgets now include tablets and laptops, smart pens, and digital microscopes.

Tablets and laptops

Students using a laptop

Laptops and tablets allow learners to access vast educational content and online resources easily. They are also handy for research, coding, and writing.

Smart pens

smart pens

Smart pens are used to digitally record written notes and then sync them with accompanying devices. This makes it easy for students to organize and review their notes during classes or study.

Digital microscopes and telescopes

A teacher teaching students how to use a microscope

Digital telescopes and microscopes offer crystal-clear close-up views of distant or microscopic objects, aiding science education and fostering a fun and interactive view of the universe.

Noise-canceling headphones

A student wearing a headset

Noise-canceling headphones are beneficial for creating a highly focused learning environment. As well as replaying listening content for language learning, they can help students better study in noisy environments.


a young girl holding a smartphone

Smartphones can be used for a plethora of tasks, including helping students to learn new languages, access educational applications, and do super-quick research on the go.

Coding kits

Coding kits, meanwhile, help teach programming and coding skills via hands-on activities, making them great for both beginners and advanced learners.

Virtual reality headsets

a young boy wearing a vr headset

Virtual reality and VR headsets help provide students with an immersive learning environment across various subjects taking their learning experiences to the next level.

Interactive whiteboards

A young man using an interactive whiteboard

Interactive whiteboards are handy for visualizing concepts and enhancing collaborative learning. As well as being incredibly easy to use, they also cut down on mess and the need for materials such as board pens and erasers.

Graphing calculators

graphing calculator and notebook

Graphing calculators are crucial for science and mathematics students and are used to help them tackle complex calculations and graphing functions.

Audio devices and podcasting tools

Audio services

Audio devices and podcasting tools are an excellent to promote creativity and help students make content that is fit for the 21st century.

Trendy outfits for a confident start

A group of college students holding books

Are you looking for trendy outfits that students love? The most popular types of apparel for students include denim jackets, high-waisted jeans, turtlenecks, graphic sweaters, blouses, plaid skirts, crop tops, cargo pants, and bomber jackets. Below we’ll provide an overview of clothes you might want to stock this season.

Three students standing behind a board

Oversized hoodies remain a staple among students who want to present a relaxed, athletic look. However, more sophisticated college students may look for outfits that include fitted sweaters, high-waisted trousers, and structured coats. 

In addition, artsy students may wear everything from graphic sweaters and berets to band tees and leather jackets. Stocking a good mix of these clothing styles will help ensure that students and their parents find something suitable.

Practical and comfortable footwear choices

A student wearing black school shoes with white socks

The following are comfortable and practical footwear choices that make for excellent, back-to-school essentials:


Man wearing brown loafers

More formal than sneakers, loafers are both stylish, incredibly comfortable, and suitable for both men and women.


A pair of sneakers

Sneakers are comfortable and versatile, making them an exceptional choice for everyday wear. Students who must walk a lot between classes can’t go amiss with adding a pair of sneakers to their footwear arsenal. High-top sneakers, which offer extra ankle support, are also trendy thanks to the perennial influence of basketball.

Ankle boots

A pair of ankle boots

Ankle boots are magnificent for colder weather, adding extra support and warmth as well as a fashionable look to any female’s wardrobe, making them especially popular among college and university students.

Canvas shoes

A pair of gray and white canvas shoes

Canvas shoes are breathable and lightweight and therefore ideal for long days out on campus. Moreover, they suit a wide variety of outfits.


Slip-ons are easy to wear and take off and available in several styles, from sporty to casual.

Athletic sandals

Athletic sandals are the perfect choice for schools where open-toed footwear is allowed, offering excellent ventilation during warmer days.

Ballet flats or Mary Janes

mary jane shoes

Mary Janes are a comfortable and cute feminine shoe that enhance the wearer’s style or attire. This has made them popular among elementary school girls, all the way up to high schoolers.

When choosing footwear, you’ll want to keep in mind that students must consider their school’s dress code and the climate where they’re likely to study.

Planners and organizers to stay on top of tasks

School stationery

In order for kids to stay on top of their assignments and obligations in school, planners and organizers are essential. Students can easily become overburdened by the responsibilities of their academics, getting caught up in the neverending routine of papers, exams, extracurricular activities, and personal commitments. 

Effective planners and organizers provide an organized framework for managing one’s time and duties, encouraging better planning, time management, and overall productivity.

Health and hygiene products

health and hygiene products

Adding health and hygiene products to your list of back-to-school essentials is also recommended. Students are likely to stock up on items such as hand sanitizer, water bottles, deodorant, towels, lip balm, tissues, sunscreen, and disinfecting wipes.

While personal preferences vary from one student to another, having these as part of your inventory will make it easier for customers to make informed choices as to what they’re looking for.


Staying prepared and well-organized is essential to each individual’s academic success. Parents will go out of their way to give their child the best start possible to the year, meaning that it’s advisable to stock up on a wide variety of patterns, colors, and designs so that they can provide back-to-school essentials that inspire confidence even before the school year has begun.

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