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The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler; this can only mean one thing"”it is back-to-school time! While children permanently dread this time of year and parents always breathe a collective sigh of relief, each year brings uncertainty for retailers. Well, have no fears retailers, according to the Online Shopper intelligence study, retailers should be singing a happy tune this year. A survey of consumers conducting back-to-school shopping revealed that 3 out of 4 back-to-school shoppers plan to spend as much or more money than last year. This is good news for companies selling everything from school supplies, to electronics, to shoes.
When it comes to the products most back-to-school shoppers are in market for, not surprisingly, school supplies are number one, with 84 percent of shoppers. The second and third most shopped categories are clothing (70 percent) and shoes (58 percent); after all, we wouldn’t want kids going back-to-school wearing last year’s fashions!
There is also good news for online retailers. Thirty percent of back-to-school shoppers said they will conduct at least half of their back-to-school shopping online. Retailers selling electronics and dorm necessities and accessories will see the biggest push online.
Seeing an increase in back-to-school shopping portends well for the upcoming holiday season. In fact, we found that 12 percent of those surveyed plan to spend more than last year. And, hopefully, by the time the sweaters come out of the closet, this number will be even bigger.
Debra Miller Arbesman is senior associate, retailer and consumer products at Compete, a Kantar Media company that helps brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers.