Back to School Means Online Shopping

A survey of parents with school-age children by the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that 14.1 percent plan to use the Internet to aid their back-to-school shopping, and their children may be pushing them in that direction.

“We suspect that the increased use of the Internet to aid with back-to-school purchases has a lot to do with the growing influence children have over how their parents shop and what they buy,” said NRF President Tracy Mullin. “We fully expect the next generation of Internet shoppers to make their presence felt as they look for the latest in back-to-school fashions and supplies.”

The survey was conducted for the NRF by Market Facts, Inc. and questioned 1,000 parents of children ages 6-17.

According to the survey, clothing will be the most popular back-to-school purchase made over the Internet, with 51.5 percent of the respondents planning to buy clothes online. Less than one-quarter (23.4 percent) of the respondents plan on purchasing school supplies such as pens and notepads over the Internet. Twenty percent will buy books online, and 17.7 percent will purchase computer hardware or software via the Internet.

Most Popular Online
Back-to-School Purchases
Clothing 51.5%
School supplies 23.4%
Books 20.0%
Computer equipment 17.7%
Source: NRF

Nearly 70 percent of the survey’s respondents plan on spending more than $100 on back-to-school shopping over the Internet. Nearly 10 percent will spend $76-$100 online, and 12.8 percent will spend $41-50.

For nearly 60 percent (57.5 percent) of the respondents, it will be their first year making a back-to-school purchase over the Internet. Twenty percent say they will spend more money online for back-to-school items than they did last year, 18.1 percent say they will spend about the same, 3.9 percent will spend less than they did last year.

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