Late July is still time of summer camp, barbecues, and the pool – and for many families, this is also when back-to-school shopping goes into high gear. So says the latest data on from our partner, BIGresearch, in its July 2011 Consumer Intentions & Actions® Survey for what is expected to be a $68 billion back to school shopping season. Two out of five shoppers 18 years or older plan to start their back-to-school shopping a good three weeks to a month before the first day of school – and with some schools starting in mid to late August, that’s right about now.
While families will be shopping in multiple venues for everything from school supplies and electronics to new clothes and shoes, almost one third will do some of that shopping online. These online back-to-school shoppers are preparing to spend a combined average of $846.54 to get their children ready for the new school year, or 40% more than all shoppers. Specifically, online back-to-school shoppers will spend a third more than all shoppers for shoes and school supplies, and fully 68% more for electronics and computer related goods.
Like most everyone, online back-to-school shoppers have felt the economic pinch, and to that end plan to shop for sales more often, comparison shop online, find and use coupons, and buy more generic or store brands, among other money-saving strategies. Much of that research will be facilitated by smartphones and/or tablet devices that many online back-to-school shoppers already own. Google notes that last summer they saw “…a lift of 500% in mobile searches for retail and consumer electronics categories over the summer months…” so retailers should prepare (and budget) accordingly to get the most out of mobile search.
As multichannel shoppers, almost three-quarters of online back-to-school shoppers will also shop offline in discount stores, department stores and clothing stores – even in electronics stores.
Download the full survey results from the Shop.org web site or visit NRF’s back-to-school headquarters for more information on data and trends.