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BizReport : Research : August 12, 2015

Reports: How the BTS season is shaping up

According to the National Retail Federation families will spend at least $68 billion on back to school items for their K-12 and college aged children - with nearly $100 being spent on supplies like backpacks, pencils and notebooks.

by Kristina Knight

But, according to the NRF, about one-third (30%) of BTS shoppers won't start spending until a week or so before the school year begins. On average families with K-12 aged students will spend $630 while those with college-aged kids will spend $899 on average. Researchers also found nearly half (41%) will use a smartphone to research products and 46% will use tablets to shop for items.

Meanwhile, MasterCard's new SpendingPulse report indicates the biggest back-to-school shopping rush is still a couple of weeks away. They note that while BTS spending increased 4% last year, the biggest shopping day didn't hit until August 29, with spending on electronics items trending even later in the summer/fall months.

"Old habits die hard, and while retailers are working to extend the back-to-school shopping season, parents are resistant to spending until closer to the first day of school," says Sarah Quinlan, Senior Vice President of Market Insights for MasterCard Advisors. "Interestingly, sales of electronics trend even later, with the biggest shopping days hitting the weekend of September 19 last year."

The MasterCard research also shows:

• Electronics sales increased 7.6% in 2014 (YoY)
• SMB sales during the back to school season were 3.9% higher than bigger retailers
• Department store spending increased 1% from 2013 to 2014

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: back to school shopping, back to school trends, ecommerce, MasterCard, National Retail Federation, retail

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