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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : July 22, 2016

Mobile's role in back to school shopping on the rise

Mobile's role in back to school shopping is increasing as the parents of school children research products, search for coupons, and even make purchases on their devices.

by Helen Leggatt

Earlier this month, research from The Rubicon Project found that mobile is set to play a significant role in back to school shopping this year. They found that this was particularly true among parents of freshman students.

According to Dallas Lawrence, chief communications officer at Rubicon Project, "what is really exciting is that we are seeing 60% of parents turning to their mobile devices for at least some back-to-school shopping, with 30% of parents planning to do at least a quarter of their total shopping on mobile. And this is especially true for parents of college freshmen who are significantly outpacing K-12 parents in using mobile devices for some of their back-to-school shopping."

New research, this time from Retale, a location-based mobile ad platform, looked at the back to school purchasing behavior of parents with school-aged children grades K-12. They, too, found that mobile would be used to help shop during the back to school season. Just 15% said they would not be using a smartphone to aid in this shopping event.

Among the 85% who said they would be using mobile to shop for back to school items, the most common activity was comparing prices (65%). Meanwhile, 62% would use mobile for searching out coupons and deals, 53% to create shopping lists, 52% to check out store opening hours, 49% researching products, 48% searching out nearby store locations and 43% to check out product reviews.

Four in 10 said they would be using their mobile device to make purchases, up five percentage points from last year, and the biggest rise among mobile activities. However, physical stores remain the go-to place for back to school shopping. Eighty percent of the parents surveyed said they plan to make 70% of their purchases in-store, down two percentage points on last year. Just 5% said they plan to make less than 50% of their purchases in-store.


"Smartphones are the go-to shopping tool for parents to research, plan and organize their back-to-school purchases," said Pat Dermody, President of Retale. "Retailers need to keep up with mobile's rise in consumer shopping behavior, incorporating relevant and engaging mobile content to drive visits and purchases. If they don't, parents will simply shop elsewhere."

Tags: back to school shopping trends, mcommerce, mobile

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