According to Google (who’s an eye on things like this), if you’re marketing to college-bound students for back-to-school shopping, there are several trends and terms you should keep in mind.

This has been one of the biggest (and longest) back-to-school shopping seasons in years

Not only have the number of searches gone up since last year (45%), but the back-to-school shopping is lasting longer than ever, now—from May (when college gets out) to the beginning of October. The peak shopping time was also 1-2 weeks longer this year than last, and is still high.

Top search terms

These terms have seen particular spikes in this year’s back-to-school shopping season:

Back to school haul: This search term is up 70% on YouTube from last year. For those who don’t know, “haul” videos are big on YouTube, where users upload videos of themselves after recent shopping trips.

Dorm haul: Increased more than double the amount of searches last year during the first two weeks of August.

Dour tour: These searches are up 1.7x the amount of last year. Google also notes: “Dorm tour” has some interesting correlations that hint at consumer interests, including brand affinities (“Covergirl and Olay”), beauty tips (“eyeliner on top lid”) and evasion techniques (“ways to look sick”).

Millenials are looking for cheap, clever ways to decorate dorms

For this generation, it’s not about the cheap furniture you can buy from Walmart. They like getting creative. Hence, the search term “dorm décor” was up 37% from last year, and there’s been a 30% rise in search terms related to this topic—“Dormify,” “Apartment Therapy,” “HGTV,” “BuzzFeed” and “Pinterest.”

They’re also looking to maximize space

As if this hasn’t been the goal since the first college dorm was built, Millenials are concerned with utilizing their small spaces as much as possible. The big thing this year has been wireless chargers—for phones and computers. Oh yeah, and coffee—“Keurig coffee” particularly.

Smartphones are king

For college students, smartphones are more essential than pizza and snooze buttons. “Dorm” searches are yielding “mobile” searches, not “laptop,” “computer,” or “tablet.” Overall, “mobile” and “wireless” searches are up 32%.

Smartphones are also replacing televisions as where millenials are watching their videos. 43% of haul video views this August have been on mobile devices.

(Feature image: Nataly A via Flickr)

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