Back-to-School Shopping Season Moves into Gear - eMarketer

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Back-to-School Shopping Season Moves into Gear

One in four digital buyers will start shopping before July

May 20, 2016

While 40% of digital buyers in North America do their back-to-school shopping over the month of August, 52% begin before then—as early as June, according to an April 2016 report by Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity.

Time of Year When Digital Buyers in North America Plan to Begin Their Back-to-School Shopping, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

While early August is the most popular time digital buyers plan to begin their back-to-school shopping, buyers are often looking to purchase earlier this year. In fact, 5% said they had already started purchasing when asked in February. Summer however, sees more action: 12% say they’ll buy in June, while 33% plan to begin buying in July.

More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents plan to use mobile devices to research their back-to-school purchases; about half plan to use a mobile device to purchase a product. About 40% plan to take their devices in-store, both to compare prices and to look for coupons.

Ways in Which Digital Buyers in North America Plan to Use a Mobile Device When Back-to-School Shopping, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

More than one in five of those surveyed also plan to use devices in-store to scan product ratings and reviews.

Unsurprisingly, 59% of digital buyers say their children’s preferences influence their back-to-school shopping. But nearly half of those surveyed also cite low prices as an influence. Less influential are product ratings and reviews, as well as school recommendations. And while word-of-mouth is often persuasive, barely any buyers are taking recommendations from other parents into account.


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