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Google Canada’s Back-to-School Trends Report



Ahhh, summer. Time to shop for bathing suits, beach towels and… backpacks? That’s right. July is almost over and it’s already time to start shopping for school. But before they step inside a store, today’s back-to-school shoppers do their homework, heading online to find out what trends are hot, where to get them, and how to get the best deals.

And where are we getting inspiration for what to buy? A quarter of Canadian university students saying that they go to YouTube to find out what’s cool to purchase. In fact, Canadian searches for “back to school” on YouTube  grew 67% last year, and this year we’ve seen a 120% growth in watchtime of back-to-school videos globally.

It’s only July, and we’ve already seen twice as many back to school videos posted on YouTube as last year, including perennial favourites like hair tutorials and dorm room tours, along with rising trends like nail art (which we’ve already watched 2 million hours of on YouTube this year!)

So what items are likely to be on Canadians’ back-to-school shopping list? We looked at search trends year-over-year and identified three distinct patterns:

  • Canada’s Back-to-School Hot (and Not) List
    Rising stars - you can think of these as fast fashion trends, they’re things that get really hot quickly, but can fizzle out; we’re searching for them a lot.
  • Seasonal Growth - these are trends that last for several seasons, they have staying power; these searches are steadily increasing year-over-year.
  • Seasonal Decline - these are trends that are slowly on their way out; we’re searching less for them now than we used to.

Happy shopping!