Since Deloitte started producing their Back-to-School survey in 2009, online has hovered around the 17% to 20% mark with shoppers. It was the eighth most popular place to look for clothes, school supplies and needed tech but not anymore. This year, online claimed the third place spot with 36% of parents saying they plan to hit the internet for deals this year.
Specialty clothing stores are also up in popularity while Dollar Stores took a significant hit. The move away from discount stores doesn’t mean that people are willing to spend more. They plan on spending more, but they don’t see it as a choice. 34% said they expect to spend more because prices are higher than last year and – here’s a sad fact – because school supply budgets have been slashed leaving it up to parents to make up the difference.
In order to get afford back-to-school items 68% of parents said they’d have to give up buying items for themselves. 35% of parents said they plan to reuse items from last years. That’s up from 20% in 2012.
Digital Gets an A
Not only are consumers turning to the internet for deals, 78% of smartphone owners say they’ll turn to their phones for help. What are they looking for? The best price (66%) and discounts (60%) – numbers that are also up over last year.
More parents are also checking social media for promotions as well as reviews and recommendations. (67% up from only 39% in 2012.)
Back-to-School Budgets Get a D
Parents with kids in K-12 say they expect to spend an average of $428 per child on back-to-school items. Think that’s bad? Parents of college student are shelling out up to $1,000 per child. On top of that, they expect their kids to contribute another 50% to buy books, clothes and dorm room necessities.
For this group, shopping the sales is an absolute necessity. Parents of college students will spend even more time looking for reviews and recommendations online (76%), searching for promotions (67%) and browsing products (61%.)
73% say they plan to do more of their shopping online this year, but half would prefer to buy online and pick-up in-store so they get items right away.
Want to learn more? Download Deloitte’s “Back-to-School” and “Back-to-College” surveys and findings for free at: www.deloitte.com/us/2013BackToSchoolSurvey.