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Parents are Doing their Homework Before Shopping for Back to School

The school year has officially started. And if you are a parent, you know how stressful back-to-school shopping can be. Books, backpacks, gym uniforms, clothes, shoes … the shopping list is endless. For decades, brick-and-mortar stores have prepared themselves to welcome and cater to the higher traffic that this very profitable time of year brings. But, what about online stores?

According to an August 2008 ‘Back to School’ survey by, more and more consumers are going online to shop for back-to-school merchandise, especially those purchasing items for college students, where 45 percent purchase online as opposed to 41 percent who buy at department stores.

Other interesting findings include:

  • 26 percent of back-to-school shoppers buy online while 33 percent prefer to buy at department stores.
  • 27 percent of back-to-school shoppers visit the retailer’s website to download and print out coupons and special offers before going to the store.
  • 38 percent visit comparison shopping online sites to research the best prices in back-to-school items.
  • Only 18 percent of back-to-school shoppers’ budgets are spent on school supplies per se. The remaining 82 percent are spent on clothing (including shoes), electronics and computer equipment, sporting goods and other accessories.

A.C. Moore's Back-to-School campaignGuidance has worked with several of its clients to develop special campaigns or landing pages in anticipation of the back-to-school season:

    • A.C. Moore: Guidance prepared a back-to-school-themed email campaign for, a retailer specialized in arts and crafts supplies. The campaign featured special offers in back-to-school and related products. Almost 83,000 customers opened the email while 10,000 of them visited the website.


  • Clothing, shoes and sporting goods Foot Locker's Back-to-School60% of consumers’ back-to-school budgets for 2008. Taking this into account, log-time Guidance client,, has added a ‘Back to School’ section to their website that can be accessed from the site’s homepage.

To read the full ‘Back to School’ survey report, click here.

Written by Guidance
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