This season, the shift to online shopping for back-to-school fare will more than quadruple the pace of total school-related sales growth, eMarketer reports.
The digital research firm projects that 9.7 percent of all back-to-school sales will be conducted online, representing an e-tail payday of $85.5 billion. That’s up 15.4 percent in sales over last year, when the web’s share of back-to-school booty was 8.7 percent.
Total back-to-school sales, covering the period of July 1 to Aug. 31, are expected to edge up 3.5 percent to $885.2 billion, which will represent 16.8 percent of full-year retail sales and 67.1 percent of retailers’ third-quarter revenue, eMarketer forecasts.
“And what about tech sales?” you may ask. eMarketer considers CE, computers, books/music/video, and office equipment and supplies all “core” back-to-school categories, along with toys, hobbies, sporting goods, apparel and accessories. Taken together, those categories will enjoy $44.2 billion in online sales this season, up 14.3 percent from last year.
The company said it bases its forecasts and estimates on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies.