How Much Did Parents Plan to Spend on Back-to-School Items? - eMarketer
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How Much Did Parents Plan to Spend on Back-to-School Items?

Parents said they would to spend 38% more on mobile devices than last year

September 1, 2016 | Retail & Ecommerce

This year, parents are expected to spend an average of $1,642 on back-to-school expenses, and according to research, they planned to spend more on musical instruments, as well as mobile devices, than they did last year.

Average Amount that US Parent Internet Users Plan to Spend on Back-to-School/Back-to-College Purchases, by Category, 2015 & 2016

The survey from American Express, conducted by Ebiquity, a provider of independent marketing analytics, polled 2,050 US adult internet users who have children attending grade school or college. This year, respondents said they planned to spend an average of $505 on electronics and technology, which includes desktops, laptops, mobile phones and other mobile devices. This is a small increase from last year, when they spent an average of $466.

When it comes to mobile specifically, US parent internet users planned to spend $47 more than they did a year prior—a 38% increase. And they said they would spend $73 more on musical instruments than they did in 2015. Although the study broke down apparel into several categories, including clothing and accessories, shoes, outerwear and jackets, parents also planned to spend a significant amount of money on these items.

US Retail Ecommerce Back-to-School Season Sales, 2012-2016

Separate research from Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, also found that technology devices make up the largest share of back-to-school purchases that parent digital buyers plan to make digitally, which isn’t surprising since students need these things, and parents don’t necessarily need to go to a store to see these devices in person, unlike clothing and school supplies.

eMarketer expects US retail ecommerce sales during the core back-to-school shopping months grew 15.3% this year, up slightly from 15.2% in 2015. The rapid growth of ecommerce during the back-to-school season is roughly on par with ecommerce growth for the year as a whole, so the back-to-school share of full-year retail ecommerce sales should hold at 16.5%. As a share of total retail during the back-to-school season, ecommerce will rise to 7.9% in 2016.


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