Students Stuff Backpacks with Tech for Back-to-School - eMarketer
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Students Stuff Backpacks with Tech for Back-to-School

More than three-quarters of teens, millennials plan to buy new electronics for back-to-school

August 3, 2015

Back-to-school shopping is in full swing. Based on recent research, technology is joining pencils and notebooks on shoppers’ to-buy lists this year. Among US teen (13 to 17) and millennial (18 to 24) Twitter users polled by Twitter in April 2015, 76% intended to purchase new tech items such as headphones, laptops and more for back-to-school this year.

Consumer Electronics that US Teen vs. Millennial Twitter Users Plan to Purchase When Back-to-School Shopping, April 2015 (% of respondents)

Many students will avoid relying on their parents’ wallets for tech, too. Two-thirds of teens and nearly six in 10 millennials said they would use their own money to purchase back-to-school electronics. Among both groups, those dollars were most likely to go to headphones and wearables, though teens were far more likely to purchase each. Laptops and smartphones trailed further behind, with millennials slightly more likely than younger students to pull out the cash for such electronics.

However, that doesn’t meant young shoppers won’t spare their parents of guilt trips. More than eight in 10 teens and over two-thirds of millennials said they would like to receive consumer electronics for school before September. The most-desired items ranked slightly different here, as respondents from both groups wanted laptops most, followed by wearables, headphones and tablets.

Parents who give in will likely be on the lookout for the best deals. When June 2015 polling by the National Retail Federation asked US adult internet users with children ages 6 to 17 living in the household how the state of the US economy would affect back-to-school shopping investments, respondents were most likely to say they’d shop for sales more often as well as do more comparative shopping only. Among those who had a child/dependent attending college in fall 2015, these responses ranked second and first, respectively.

eMarketer estimates that US retail back-to-school season sales will reach $831.33 billion in the months of July and August this year, up 4.6% year over year and representing 17.3% of full-year retail sales.

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