What Dutch consumers are really searching for around Back to School time

September 2019

Even in the digital age, some traditions are slow to change. How else can you explain the rise in search queries for ‘wrapping books’ in the Netherlands just before everyone goes back to school?

That was just one of the interesting snippets we uncovered when we took a closer look at the the most dominant search queries at this time of year. And while it may be too late for this year, understanding what people are searching for could help to inspire your 2020 Back to School campaign.


As you might expect, search queries around backpacks, school materials, and schoolbooks increase dramatically. But today’s students—or their parents—are also looking for something a little more advanced.

Indeed, searches for ‘student laptops’ increased by 160% from the previous quarter, and that was just one of several search queries related to laptops and the software to run on them.


Back to school also represents a great seasonal moment for fashion retailers as students look to refresh their wardrobe. With a huge 6870% increase in searches for ‘fall jackets’ at this time of year, there are obvious opportunities for advertisers to capitalise.

And it’s not just jackets as search queries for trousers, shoes, and hoodies all double for fashion conscious students ahead of a return to school, with a 5x increase in searches for winter fashion.


Those new jackets are expensive, however, and students need jobs to pay for them. With searches for both evening work and weekend work (both 55%) increasing, Back to School is a great time for businesses to make hires and job boards to launch digital marketing campaigns.

And it’s not just the students looking for new jobs. Interestingly, this period also sees a more than 70% increase in searches related to how much teachers can earn in the Netherlands.


Of course, it’s not possible for everyone to work and study at the same time, and this creates a space for advertisers in the financial sector to plan and create a seasonal campaign. With a 90% increase in queries around student discounts, and budgeting, etc, a bank or other financial institution could well base their 2020 Back to School messaging around money-saving tips and advice.

There’s also an increase in the number of searches for student loans, which could also allow banks to position themselves as student-friendly with their next Back to School creative.


Another interesting insight from our exploration of search queries around Back to School was our discovery that a lot of Dutch people are already thinking about their next holiday with a 110% increase in people searching for autumn weekend breaks and last minute autumn breaks.

We can’t tell for sure if this is further evidence that people are happier when booking holidays than they are while on holidays. But it is clear there are opportunities for those in the travel industry to develop a Back to School campaign.

Unique campaigns

Our research shows that, whether you specialise in the retail or financial sectors—or even the travel and recruitment industries—there are always new and interesting ways to run your next Back to School campaign.

That can be through the use of clever creative or a different approach to reaching audiences, but your planning process should always begin with an understanding of what people are searching for at this time of year.

Summer holiday trends: Travellers go back to nature – and back in time