Online Back-to-School Shopping Not Too Popular

    July 31, 2009
    Chris Crum

It doesn’t look like too many people plan to do their back-to-school shopping online. eMarketer looks at a combination of studies from BIGresearch and the National Retail Federation, Deloitte, and OfficeMax. These studies paint similar pictures, and they just don’t show too many intentions from parents to turn to the web as the school year draws near.

In the first study, only a little over 22% said they would buy back-to-school items online. That’s actually less than the previous year (nearly 25%). The overwhelming majority (nearly 75%) intend to do their shopping at discount stores. That whole economy thing may play a role in that.

Look at these graphs that eMarketer put together:

Locations Where US Consumers* Plan to Purchase Back-to-School Products, June-July 2009 (% of respondents)

Ways that the Economy Is Impacting Back-to-School Shopping According to US Consumers*, June-July 2009 (% of respondents)


Percent of Back-to-School Shopping that US Mom Internet Users Will Do Online, June 2009 (% of respondents)

There have been a lot of findings to come out in recent months indicating different fears from consumers with regards to shopping online. One is of course security. A recent McAfee/Harris study showed that the economy had less to do with online shopping habits than security concerns. Another report from Office of Fair Trading found that almost one in three Internet users are not shopping online in the UK due to lack of trust.

Don’t count out the economy entirely though. Yet another recent study showed that close to half of online shoppers had abandoned their carts multiple times in the previous three weeks due to high shipping costs, security concerns, or lack of convenience. The most common reason was shipping costs.