PriceGrabber, a distributed ecommerce platform and shopping site just released its second 2013 Back-to-School shopping survey which offers additional insight into the ever-changing back-to-school shopper. The survey found that nearly 80 percent of respondents find the majority of information on back-to-school products and promotions from online retailer emails, websites and blog announcements. This fall, consumers will be taking advantage of some nontraditional online methods to find the hottest deals. Conducted on PriceGrabber.com from June 16 to August 5, 2013, this survey includes responses from 1,937 U.S. online shopping consumers.
Full-sized Back-to-School Infographic here:
“Back-to-school consumers are innovative and resourceful shoppers who are helping to shape the way retailers market their products,” says Sharon Banfield, director of public relations of PriceGrabber. “Like clockwork every fall, parents prepare for back-to-school and savvy consumers can easily identify the best deals through online resources like PriceGrabber.”
Consumers are Changing Their Shopping Strategies from Last Year
Consumers are determined to think frugally when shopping for back-to-school this year. When PriceGrabber respondents were asked to select all the ways their back-to-school shopping behavior will change compared to last year, 57 percent said they will attempt to buy more items that are on sale, while 42 percent say they will comparison shop for the best price. Shoppers are looking for deals online, as 39 percent said they will shop online more than in prior years. Another 39 percent plan to buy only the necessities; 26 percent will use more store coupons; while 19 percent said they will shop at less expensive stores. Back-to-school shoppers plan to cash in on store loyalty programs with 16 percent planning to increase their use of store or credit cards offering rewards points. Only 11 percent of consumers said they would maintain their 2012 shopping habits from last fall, leaving a majority of shoppers looking for the best budget buys.
Mobile Shopping: Consumers are Looking for Convenience
As the world of mobile shopping continues to grow, 46 percent of back-to-school shoppers said they would use their smartphone to find deals this year. When mobile shoppers were asked to select all the ways they plan to use their smartphone to save money on back-to-school items, 67 percent noted they will check prices online before making offline purchases; 47 percent will read retailer discount emails while in the store; another 47 percent will have retailer coupons directly texted to their phone; 42 percent plan to make purchases online from their mobile phone; 30 percent will use mobile apps and bar code scanners; and 29 percent will check store inventory online before shopping in-store.
The trend of convenience and accessibility continues when using a mobile device to shop. When smartphone shoppers were asked to select all the locations they are most likely to shop from via their mobile phone, 71 percent said they would shop right from home, while 36 percent indicated they are likely to shop anywhere they can. The third most popular choice for mobile shopping is at work, with 28 percent of the vote, followed by 22 percent who said they are most likely to shop from the passenger seat of a car. Showrooming is still a popular trend with 17 percent of respondents saying they are likely to shop from their mobile phone while in brick-and-mortar stores and 13 percent are likely to shop while standing in line. Some consumers like to shop while they dine, as 12 percent said they will browse for products while theyre at a restaurant; and another 12 percent are likely to shop via their smartphone while traveling.
Social Media will Influence Back-to-School Shopping
In this digital age, consumers are not only using social media as a way to interact with friends, they are following their favorite companies and brands online. As consumers are getting accustomed to receiving updates from their favorite companies via social media channels, they are aware of the potential influence it will have on their shopping behavior. When consumers were asked if social media will impact their back-to-school shopping decisions this year, it was divided with 42 percent saying it wouldnt impact their shopping decisions and 39 percent indicating it would. The remaining shoppers were not active on social media.
It is noteworthy to mention that of the consumers who indicated that social media will impact their back-to-school shopping decisions, 85 percent said that Facebook would influence them most. YouTube ranked second at 23 percent, and Pinterest ranked a close third at 22 percent. In fourth place, 19 percent said that Twitter would influence their back-to-school shopping decisions this year, while 8 percent indicated other social media channels. MySpace ranked the least popular among social media channels that would influence back-to-school shoppers, receiving only 2 percent of the consumer vote.
Visit PriceGrabbers Back-to-School Shopping Guide for deals on school supplies, backpacks, printers, dorm room furniture, computers, clothing, accessories, and more:
Here are PriceGrabber’s back-to-school money-saving tips to get the most for your buck this year.”
• Take a household inventory. Scan the kitchen, office, bedrooms and the rest of the house for miscellaneous supplies. Take an inventory of the findings and then compare this to your kids’ supply lists. The findings will most likely cover many items on the lists.
• Make a list with a budget and stick to it. When planning a budget for this year’s back-to-school shopping, start by making a list and separating “must-have” items from “wants.” This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some trendy gear, just shop for necessities first.
• Take a look at how much you spent last year and challenge yourself to spend less this year.
• Involve the (older) kids. Turn back-to-school shopping into a family activity by charting out the budget in a creative way with your children. This will help teach them to budget while you bond as a family. However, if you have young kids consider leaving them at home to avoid getting distracted from your shopping list.
• Host a clothing exchange with other parents. Invite about 12 to 15 parents with children of similar ages, sizes and genders over to exchange kids’ clothing. Have guests bring about 10 clean items in good condition so that they can leave with 10 different pieces in similar condition. Even if only a few items fit, everything was still free.
• Shop online and look for free shipping. Skip the crowds and shop online. Comparison-shopping sites such as PriceGrabber.com can save consumers money on popular back-to-school items like tablet computers, backpacks, dorm room furniture, and basic school supplies. Look for retailers offering free shipping to save even more.
• Use your mobile device as a shopping aid. If shopping a brick-and-mortar store sale, use your smartphone to ensure the sale price is really the best deal in town. Download the PriceGrabber mobile app or visit the site from your browser to quickly check for deals you may have missed.
• Shop end-of-summer sales. Stock up on summer clothing which can be worn well into the fall. Sweaters and leggings can be paired with summer shirts and dresses for an easy transition into the cooler months. Microwaves, storage bins, tool kits and other dorm room must-haves are also a part of the summer clearance sales.
• Follow your favorite shopping sites on social media. Be the first to know about special offers from your favorite retailers and shopping sites. Some retailers may offer exclusive back-to-school discount codes or coupons.
• Buy in bulk. Pencils, markers, printer paper and other supplies are always in high demand. Spend a little more money now and buy large quantities, which will give you cheaper supplies needed later in the year.
• Personalize. Jazz up inexpensive, plain school supplies such as notebooks and folders with stickers. Let your student get creative and personalize their items so they don’t get mixed up with other students’ supplies. There’s a better chance you won’t have to spend money on lost items later in the year.
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