This spring ClassWallet saw our busiest week in company history as teachers pushed to finish using up their funds on classroom purchases. While we were proud that the platform and our team made it through with flying colors, we got curious about what teachers were buying for their students. So we conducted a statewide analysis of $1 million dollars of orders on our platform, and here’s what we found out.
One Size Does Not Fit All
In short, teachers buy a lot of different stuff. Milkweed, carpenters’ aprons and hula hoops were just some of the items teachers used to engage their students beyond a textbook. But there’s also a huge range of variation within the same category. We found 14 different types of scissors ordered in just one school district. So while we sell a lot of products like scissors that would be considered a commodity, when teachers have the ability to select the supplies that work best for their classroom, their individual choices differ.
Purchase Reasons Vary Too
This can be seen in buying behavior as well as from feedback directly from teachers. For example, we ship tons (literally) of paper. As one teacher commented on an order that included a case of it, “I did not have to carry the items to my car, from my car, etc. It simplified my life.” We also have teachers who prefer purchasing items in a store and receiving reimbursement. Fortunately, e-commerce and reimbursement strike a balance to let all users purchase what they need in the manner most beneficial for them.
Data Tells Stories
The reports ClassWallet generates can provide lots of useful data for schools and districts. Administrators can evaluate what teachers are using in successful learning environments. They can analyze purchase behavior and cadence to optimize their own budgets and forecasts. And the finance department can rely on a clearly itemized audit trail. Information is power, and the possibilities are endless when schools have a clear, accurate picture of what’s purchased as well as when and how funds are spent.
At ClassWallet we always have an eye on the future and are busy thinking up new reports and ways the data we collect can help our clients. If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop us a line .