1 in 5 Smartphone, 4 in 10 Tablet Owners Buy School Basics

August 22, 2011

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

nationalretailfederation-smartphone-use-by-back-to-school-shoppers-aug11.gifFamilies with school-aged children are using their tablets and their smartphones to help manage their back-to-school shopping tasks, according to a survey conducted by BIGresearch and released today by the National Retail Federation. The survey, “2011 Back to School and Back to College Consumer Intentions and Actions”, finds that consumers with smartphones and tablets will use their devices to research products, redeem coupons, look up store information, and make purchases.

When it comes to smartphone shopping, nearly one out of five (18.8%) K-12 grade shoppers and 16.8 percent of college shoppers with smartphones say they will make purchases via their device.

As well as making purchases, many shoppers see the phone as a money-saving tool. About 17% of back-to-school shoppers reported that they will be redeeming coupons while shopping with their smartphones.

The highest percentage of smartphone shoppers are using the device to conduct product research and compare prices, with 33.7% of K-12 shoppers and 30.9% college shoppers performing this task. A quarter of smartphone shoppers plan to look for brick-and-mortar store details via their phone — 24.1% of K-12 shoppers and 25.1% of college shoppers.

nationalretailfederation-tablet-use-by-back-to-school-shoppers-aug11.gifThough shopping via a smartphone or tablet device is still an emerging trend – one that retailers are keen to facilitate – the tablet device is making strides?as a useful shopping tool.

23.7% of K-12 shoppers and 22.9% of college shoppers will use their tablet to research products and compare prices, slightly lower than the usage habits of smartphone owners. A significantly higher percentage, however, are clicking “buy.” The survey found four in 10 (39.6%) college shoppers and three in 10 (30.2%) K-12th grade shoppers with tablets say they plan to use their tablet devices to purchase products for back to school this year.

As well, about half are using shopping apps on their tablet to research or purchase products.

Of the college shoppers with tablets, juniors, graduate students and freshmen will be the ones using tablet devices the most to purchase their school items. Nearly half of surveyed juniors (47.5%), graduate students (47.4%) and freshmen (47.2%) say they plan to purchase school products via their tablet.

NRF’s 2011 Back to School and Back to College Consumer Intentions and Actions Surveys were designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to back to school spending and back to college spending. The surveys were conducted for NRF by BIGresearch. The poll of 8,684 consumers was conducted from July 1-6, 2011.

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