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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 02, 2011

Accenture: Half of BTS shoppers won't go online

A new prediction may push online retailers into a more active back-to-school (BTS) campaign mode. According to new data from Accenture, about half of BTS shoppers say they won't shop online at all this season, which means etailers really need to engage those who do shop online.

by Kristina Knight

The report also indicates that BTS parents will splurge a little on their kids while scrimping on themselves this fall.

According to the Accenture data:

  • 60% of parents will spend less on themselves, more on kids this fall

  • 36% report shopping lists are longer and more expensive this year

  • Parents are looking for 'one-stop-shops' and convenience in a BTS shopping trip

  • High customer service, loyalty/rewards programs rate high with BTS parents

  • 50% say they won't shop online at all for BTS, 4% report 'all BTS shopping' will be done online
  • The Accenture findings, while different from a forecast by BIGresearch and, does have some similarities. The biggest difference is that BIGresearch believes online shoppers will spend more to go back to school than offline shoppers. A finding that may be more in line with Accenture's data than it appears. While Accenture believes that half of shoppers won't go online at all, if BIGresearch is right and those who do go online spend more, etailers will still make out well during the season.

    "Necessity, not desire, will drive this year's back-to-school season purchases," said Janet Hoffman, managing director of Accenture's Retail Practice. "The consumer has spoken and reports that they 'dread' these back-to-school shopping trips. Parents will be spending less on themselves to fund these purchases, and they will spend their dollars where they find the right mix of discounts, quality and convenience. Spending will neither be penny-pinching nor excessive, so retailers will need to keep a keen focus on inventory levels and delivering a targeted offer that meets their customers' needs."

    What are parents looking for this year? Most are going to stick with school lists - notebooks, pens, pencils and skip the extras. Only 25% say they'll buy their child a new computer, cell phone or miscellaneous electronic gadget this year. Most parents (59%) say they'll spend between $100 and $500 for kids to go back to school; 21% say they'll spend over the $500 threshold.

    Tags: Accenture, back to school, BIGresearch, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, online shopping, shopping trends

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