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When Back-to-School Shoppers Plan to Start Researching and Purchasing

Back-to-School Online Shopping Trends Earliest on Record, Says Google

  |  July 26, 2013   |  Comments

Google research shows that back-to-school online shopping behavior has begun earlier than ever.

Google is experiencing the earliest back-to-school online shopping behavior on record, according to a study that it recently carried out. The ability to research online at any time, anywhere, on any device, has sped up shopping noticeably, says the search giant in a statement. 

Google cites July as the month reserved for the research portion of back-to-school gear, and August as the purchase time.

When Back-to-School Shoppers Plan to Start Researching and Purchasing

Back-to-School Start Dates Vary

Keep in mind that depending on where students live in the U.S., the first day of school will vary as much as several weeks. Bing evangelist, John Gagnon, shared tips on ClickZ's sister publication, Search Engine Watch, earlier this month on how to use this type of information to customize the timing of your online marketing plan.

The following map from Gagnon’s post illustrates school start dates nationwide according to geography:

first-day-of-school-mch-strategic-data

This data, along with Google’s research and a recent study by the National Retail Federation (NRF) that showed 72 percent of parents shop for their children within one week to one month before school starts, shows the need for perfect timing in ecommerce marketing. Gagnon talks more about how to capitalize on that in his post.

The Majority of Shopping Starts Online

Google says the majority of these back-to-school shoppers start online. "More than 60 percent of shoppers will begin their shopping online, and most shoppers report that online research will have a notable impact on their in-store purchase decisions."

College shoppers trump other students in terms of spend, Google says. “Shoppers for high school students expect to spend $347 on average, people shopping for college expect to spend nearly double that amount at $614 on average.”

Ninety-four percent of shoppers indicated a promotion or sale would persuade them to purchase a product, Google notes.

"We found that people are more sale conscious when buying consumer electronics than other school supplies. Consumer electronics shoppers were more likely to make a purchase if there was a back to school promotion, free shipping offer or one day sale."

Video also proved to be a popular form of back-to-school research with Google showing more than 205,000 haul videos (people reviewing their purchases) on clothes, supplies and dorm room décor uploaded in the past week.

With the month fast coming to a close, Google says most back-to-school research will be wrapping up while purchasing momentum will pick up.

Back to School Shopping is in Full Swing Infographic

This article was originally published on Search Engine Watch.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee is a marketer specializing in web content strategy and B2B/B2C writing. Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past several years focused on the web marketing space.

Prior to launching her consulting business, bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. – a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients. Jessica's background also includes positions in traditional marketing, communications, broadcasting and publishing.

Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University. She also contributed to the book “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” 2nd edition.

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