Back to school shopping trend: More parents going online

Families of K-12 children will spend a combined $543 on back to school shopping items

By Nathan Legg
Posted on Aug 4, 2014 - 10:47am

Back to school shopping

More moms and dads are walking away from stores and going online for their back to school shopping.

Tired of the crowds at the store, especially for back to school shopping?

More and more parents are letting their mice do the work, instead of their feet!

Online sites are now the No.2 shopping destination, tied with office supply/technology stores and right behind discount/value department stores, according to Deloitte’s new Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys.

Also, for the first time in the survey’s history, when it comes to back to school shopping, the number of shoppers who prefer to purchase from retailers offering the option to buy online and pick up in the store increased to 40 percent, up from 33 percent last year. More than half of all parents (57 percent) say they plan to conduct research online before buying in the physical store.

“Rather than thinking solely in terms of e-commerce, retailers need to consider how consumers’ digital interactions — not exclusively purchases — influence what they do and don’t buy in the brick-and-mortar store,” says Alison Paul from Deloitte. “Retailers should look at their online and mobile channels as a greater opportunity to drive traffic and revenue at the physical store, rather than viewing it as merely a point of purchase, where it actually tends to deliver lower sales than the physical store as a whole.”

According to the surveys, parents and their children in grades K-12 will spend a combined $543 on back-to-school items, and double that, $1,223, on college spending.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents believe the economy is recovering, but continue to exercise some caution. While high food prices once again top their list of economic concerns that could impact their spending plans, other worries dipped this year, including energy prices (down 5 percentage points), medical costs (down 10 percentage points) and taxes (down 12 percentage points), the surveys found.


Nathan Legg is a contributing writer for Daddyhood who enjoys most writing stories about dads teaching their sons life lessons, sports and finance. Born in Pittsburgh and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Nathan and his dad’s relationship revolves around sports. Together they watch and discuss all things Black n’ Gold on a daily basis.