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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 01, 2011

Study: Online shoppers to spend more than offline for back to school

August has arrived and over the next few weeks we'll all see more shoppers in stores, picking up everything from notebook paper to new shoes. But a new report from BIGresearch and finds that consumers shopping online will spend more than those shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. In all, the back to school spend is expected to reach $68 billion in the US, with two in five shoppers beginning their spend at least three weeks prior to the first day.

by Kristina Knight

On average, the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker estimates that a US family of four will spend $800 on back to school shopping - nearly $400 of that on apparel/shoes and $100 on school supplies.

"Although parents are experiencing some financial pressure and adjusting their lifestyle to pay for back to school expenses, they're not economizing when it comes to their kids" said Pamela Codispoti, executive vice present and general manager of Consumer Card Services, American Express. "Our latest survey shows that most parents plan to spend more or the same on back to school expenses as last year."

The BIGresearch/ study finds at least one-third of back to school shoppers plan to do at least 'some' shopping online. On average, online shoppers are expected to spend $846.54, about 40% more than offline spenders. For clothing/apparel and school supplies, online shoppers are expected to spend one-third more than offline shoppers. For electronics/computer shoppers, online buyers will spend nearly 70% more than their offline counterparts.

Leading up to the August countdown, visits to online retailers increased by more than 2%; most of these visitors were hitting discount retailers like Walmart, Target and Sears according to Experian/Hitwise, but holds the biggest visit share with more than 15% of retail visits.

Meanwhile, data from Google shows an increase in search volume related to back to school shopping last year. In 2010, their data showed a 500% increase in retail and consumer electronics search query volume during the summer; similar results are expected for the 2011 season as well.

Tags: American Express, back to school shopping, back to school spend, BIGresearch, ecommerce, Google, Hitwise

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