Online Back-to-School Shoppers Spend More

Parents that purchase back-to-school items for their children online spend more than parents that shop offline, according to a survey sponsored by Quicken.

According to the survey, the average American parent spent $192 on back-to-school shopping, while parents that purchased online spent $203. The bad news for online retailers is that only 2.3 percent of back-to-school shoppers did their shopping online this year.

Internet Access Among Families
with Children Age 6-17 by Income
Income Percent with
under $20,000 14%
$20,000-29,999 28%
$30,000-39,999 37%
$40,000-49,999 52%
$50,000+ 66%
Source: Quicken

Among the parents who participated in the survey, they reported that online shopping saved them time, find bargains, and find exactly what their kids wanted. The most popular sites with back-to-school shoppers belonged to offline brands and catalogs.

Females spent more money online than men, ($235 vs. $150), but when it comes to overall back-to-school shopping, males outspend females $215 to $172. Females were also more likely than males to shop for back-to-school items online this year (3.1 percent vs. 1.5 percent). Last year, however, 2.9 percent of American parents reported doing back-to-school shopping online (compared to 2.3 percent this year). Last year, males outnumbered females 3.6 to 2.1 percent.

According to Quicken’s survey, 46 percent of families with children six to 17 years old have Internet access. Internet access grows to 66 percent among highest income households.

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