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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 20, 2018

For college ages, in-store key for BTS

There will be no shortage of online shoppers during the back-to-school frenzy of shopping between July and September, but those shoppers are less likely to be looking for items for college-aged children. That, according to Deloitte's 2018 Back To College Study, which found an 11% decreased in intended online shoppers.

by Kristina Knight

Last year about 80% of shoppers said they would use their laptops/desktops and even social networks to find key back to college goods. This year, 69% of shoppers said the say. And the numbers for mobile commerce continue to be lower with only 45% of shoppers saying they'll use mobile devices.

"This decline in digital usage for back-to-college shoppers could be a sign that consumers desire innovation with their digital shopping interactions," said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution leader. "It provides an opportunity for retailers to define innovation at the intersection of technology, engagement and decision making in the coming years."

How will the buys break down? According to Deloitte just over half (54%) of shoppers will make college purchases in-store, and 24% will buy online, leaving about 22% of the college spend unaccounted for. Those shoppers might push their dollars into store or online hubs, making marketing a key factor for merchants who want to grab a bit more of the back to college spend.

"According to parents surveyed, 68 percent plan to start their back-to-college shopping before August. Even more pertinent to retailers, these early shoppers also plan to spend 35 percent more than shoppers who wait until August," said Lokesh Ohri, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and leader of customer engagement, content and commerce offerings in the retail practice. "This is an opportunity for retailers to engage customers early and often, to not only capture the pockets of early spenders but also appear on the radar of those shoppers who plan to engage throughout the season."

Other interesting findings from the report include:

▪ 82% of parents say they'll "collaborate" with their college children on budget and shopping
▪ 75% of lower income parents will shop "throughout" summer to get the best deals
▪ 75% of parents will shop mass merchants for goods

The full Deloitte dataset can be accessed here.

Tags: BTS spending, college ecommerce, Deloitte, ecommerce, ecommerce trend, mobile marketing

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