In general, consumers intend to start their back-to-school shopping later but spend more this year, especially online. This will bring an expected 3% dollar increase to online back-to-school sales vs. the prior year with price and convenience being the main motivators, according to recent research from The NPD Group.
“The increase in spend online comes at the expense of national chains and mass merchants,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “Value, price, and products that are on sale are less important to the consumers than last year but this is positive news for department stores and apparel specialty retailers too, as more consumers plan to shop there compared to last year.”
The 2013 back-to-school category winners were apparel and footwear, followed by calculators, apparel accessories, school bags, and sports equipment, while school supplies are down.
“These categories are important to note for several reasons, one is for category growth but another is for reading between the lines and seeing that consumers are spending more on desirables rather than only necessities,” said Cohen. “Parents are loosening up on the tight budgets and letting their kids once again make the decisions.”
The study shows consumers expect to buy students what they want and value to be less of a key factor in their back-to-school shopping decisions. Back-to-school shoppers aim to listen to students for reasons to purchase an item – illustrating kids’ influence on these seasonal shopping trips.
To learn more about back-to-school shoppers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad-ology.com.
[Source: Research conducted by The NPD Group. 10 Jul. 2013. Web. 11 Jul. 2013.]