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Mobile’s Big Role in Back to School Shopping

Posted Aug 6, 2019

Summer isn’t quite over but families are already prepping for the new school year. Technology has changed the way consumers shop and that is no exception for back to school shopping. Not only are shoppers going online to buy supplies but, smartphones and laptops are becoming essential supplies for students. AdColony’s Back to School Shopping Survey looks at shopping habits and preferences for school supplies and how mobile devices play a role in the buying process.

The first edition of the Back to School Shopping Survey provides insights on consumer behavior pertaining to back to school shopping and how technology comes into play online and in-store.

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Highlights of the Study

  • Male back to school shoppers skew slightly younger than females. — 66% of male shoppers are 18-44 years old, while 54% of female shoppers are 35-64 years old.
  • Moms are more likely than dads to go back to school shopping for their children. — Among parents planning to shop for their kids, 62% of them are females and 35% are males.
  • Online shopping hasn’t replaced in-store back to school shopping yet. — 38% of respondents said they plan to shop both in-store and online. While some items can be easily bought online, shoppers might want to see clothing and electronics in person before purchasing.
  • General big-box stores are the preferred brick and mortar places. — Stores like Target and WalMart are the top choice for in-store back to school shopping. Consumers are less inclined to visit more specialized stores like Staples and BestBuy. Big-box stores offer not only school supplies but also other essential items.
  • Mobile devices are a crucial part of the in-store shopping experience. — More than 40% of respondents said they used their smartphones while shopping in-store to research competitor prices, receive discounts, take pictures for reference, and look up product reviews.
  • Smartphones are by far the preferred device to do back to school shopping. — 70% of shoppers usually use their smartphones while 20% prefer desktop/laptop and only 10% use a tablet.
  • When students start to hit their teen years, smartphones become an essential school supply. — Back to school shoppers planning to buy a smartphone are most likely (90%) to be buying for students in middle school or higher education. A considerable percentage (20%) are planning to buy a smartphone for preschool/elementary students.

Check out the infographic below for more great insights and click here to download the full report! Don’t forget to click on the infographic to open it full size!

AdColony Back to School Survey Infographic

About the Study
The AdColony Back to School Shopping Survey asked global consumers a series of easy-to-answer questions about back to school shopping revealing a generous amount regarding shopping preferences and patterns of behavior while purchasing items for the new school year in a variety of age groups. 

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Respondent Profile
There was a good mix of respondents, with the gender distribution being 49% male, 46% female, 1% other, and 3% declining to state. A majority of respondents were 55 to 64 years old (19%). The survey had a global reach, with 50% of respondents in North America, 39% in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, 6% in Asia-Pacific, and 5% in Central and South America. 

Join the Conversation
What are your back to school shopping plans? Tweet your thoughts to @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.

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