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Lessons Learned: Only 8% Of Back-To-School Purchases Are Made Online

As the industry wraps up another back-to-school (BTS) season, what lessons did we learn?

According to The Shelf, an online aggregator of marketing insights and provider of influencer services, a key takeaway is the oversize impact that digital has on in-store sales.

While only 7.9 percent of back-to-school purchases are made online, the researchers reported, 92 percent of parents use mobile devices while shopping for BTS supplies; two-thirds of in-store shoppers check prices on their phones before buying; and 50 percent browse online first, then make the purchase in-store.

That’s not to say that showrooming is dead: 67 percent of customers have been known to browse in-store first and then buy those products online, The Shelf found.

Point being, customers want a seamless “omnichannel experience,” the marketing platform said, and are willing to put their money where their keypads are. Shoppers who arrive at a retailer through an omnichannel experience spend 3.5 times more than those that don’t, and 36 cents of every dollar spent in-store is influenced by digital interactions with that brand, research has shown.

Source: The Shelf

Here are some other back-to-school factoids from The Shelf to help you get to the head of the retail class:

*$828 billion is spent on back-to-school shopping each year, or 17.2 percent of all U.S. retail sales, making it the second-biggest retail holiday after Christmas.

*The average household spends $606 on back-to-school shopping, while the average household with college kids spends $1,086.

*Apparel is the No. 1 BTS category, purchased by 50 percent of shoppers, although backpacks and computer bags are bought by 41 percent of BTS shoppers, tablets by 18 percent, computers by 17 percent, and small appliances by 8 percent.

Last but not least, retailers should target dads in their ad plans as fathers, being the lazy shoppers they are, spend 37 percent more than moms when put in charge of back-to-school shopping.

Source: The Shelf