Tis the season for notebooks and pens. As parents and students enter a new school year the retail landscape looks positive. New research from Prosper Insights and eMarketer point to an uptick in back to school spending for 2016. This important retail event is not to be taken lightly as spending expectations are at a whopping $2.73 Billion. A study by Fluent says that families usually spend between $100 to $249 per child. Many see this year as a “replenishment” opportunity for back to school spending versus past years where parents and students made due with what they had.
Parents are clear on what will drive them to purchase – 48% look to coupons which is the highest in the survey’s history. Other influencers are in-store promotions at 39% and advertising inserts at 33%. Online shopping is expected to take about one third of the dollars and parents typically shop about 3 websites. Be sure to offer free shipping as 84% won’t purchase from you without it. Online spending is expected to see an increase of 15.7% which is the highest since 2011. Plans to shop online for 2016 have increased to 31% up from 27% in 2015. Retail sales are expected to increase 2.6%, which exceeds the increases of 2015. So what will these consumers be buying? The number one purchase is school supplies at 77% followed by clothing 70% and shoes 57%. When asked where they plan to get supplies for this year the number one answer was a Discount store at 53%, followed by Department stores at 51%, Clothing stores at 39%, and Office Supply stores at 37%.
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