With statistics from the National Retail Federation projecting Back to School spending reaching a total of around $29.5 billion, the months of July and August are now considered the second biggest shopping season of the year. This will be the second highest spending on Back to School supplies since 2012 when spending was totaled at $30.3 billion. This new total is a ten percent increase from last year and is a result of the stabilized economy, rising wages, and increased employment levels.
We are currently in the height of the back to school shopping season. Deloitte’s annual survey on back to school shopping concluded that 71% of spending takes place during an eight week period from early July through late August. An easy way for retailers to anticipate behaviors for this back to school shopping season is to look at projected allocations of spending.
The same Deloitte Survey projects that a majority of all shopping will be completed in stores, 21% online, and 22% of individuals are undecided. (graph) Of the undecided, 68% will shop online when online shipping is offered, and 65% will shop online at various points in the summer to take advantage of various deals. A little over half will shop online when they can take advantage of a buy online and return in store deal. 49% prefer a system similar to Amazon Prime where loyalty programs that provide faster, cheaper shipping, instead of discounts on merchandise. Although these 22% may not shop online, a majority will still visit online sites to research Back to School supplies online before purchasing.
Social media also plays a role in back to school online shopping as one fourth of individuals will use social media for transactions. Social media is also commonly used to receive coupons, browse products, and read reviews and recommendations.
Lastly, there are a lot of deals that will help back to school shoppers save money during this shopping season. For example, Amazon has back to school merchandise marked down by 80% this season. This ranges anywhere from children’s apparel, school supplies, and electronics. Apple is also running a promotion where the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air are discounted up to $300 for teachers and students. Also, a free set of Beats Wireless Headphones will be given with purchase.
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