Consumers Plan to Spend Smarter and Look for Sales this Back-to-School Season, According to PriceGrabber® Survey

Classic School Supplies and Clothing Top Back-to-School Shopping Lists

Jul 25, 2013, 08:02 ET from

LOS ANGELES, July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PriceGrabber, a leading distributed ecommerce platform and shopping site just released the results of its first 2013 Back-to-School shopping survey. The results indicate that 68 percent of consumers plan to spend up to $500 this back-to-school shopping season compared to 63 percent in 2012 and 48 percent in 2011. Additionally, 17 percent of respondents plan to spend between $500 and $1,000 and 15 percent of shoppers said they have no back-to-school shopping budget this year. Conducted from June 17 to July 8, 2013, the survey includes responses from 2,191 U.S. online shopping consumers.



"The outlook for the back-to-school shopping season remains positive. With unemployment rate dropping from 8.2 percent in June, 2012 to its current rate of 7.6 percent, shoppers are more inclined to spend than they were in the last couple of back-to-school seasons," said Rojeh Avanesian, SVP of Marketing and Sales of PriceGrabber. "However, instead of spending on the newest gadgets, shoppers are looking for ways to get the most for their money by looking for deals as well as reusing already owned items before purchasing new ones."

Classic school supplies and clothing top shopping lists

Consumers are planning to purchase practical items, putting basic school clothing and supplies at the top of their back-to-school shopping lists. When PriceGrabber survey respondents were asked to select all of the items they plan to purchase this back-to-school shopping season, 72 percent selected general school supplies such as notebooks, binders, and pencils. Sixty-eight percent of consumers plan to send their children back to school in style with new clothing; 42 percent said they plan to purchase a back-pack or tote bag; and 36 percent of shoppers said they plan to purchase books.

In the electronics category, computers topped back-to-school shopping lists with 17 percent of respondents selecting laptop computers, and 11 percent citing an electronic tablet purchase. Computer accessories received 10 percent of the vote, cell phones received 9 percent, and only 5 percent selected a desktop computer.

Consumers plan to use numerous money-saving methods while back-to-school shopping

When PriceGrabber survey respondents were asked to select all of the ways they plan to save money while back-to-school shopping this year, visiting discount stores ranked in first place with 50 percent of the consumer vote. Forty-six percent of consumers said they plan to search for school supplies they already own such as pens, pencils and glue sticks before buying new items. Consumers indicated they will readily use online shopping sites as this money saving option ranked third place receiving 45 percent of vote; 37 percent of consumers plan to take an inventory of their kids' closet to see what items can still be worn and which items need to be replaced before going shopping; and 33 percent plan to visit retailer websites to print coupons.

Discount stores and online-only retailers score big with consumers

When respondents were asked to select all of the types of stores they plan to shop at for back-to-school items, 80 percent selected discount stores. Online-only retailers were voted second place receiving 54 percent of the consumer vote, and wrapping up a close third place, office supply chain stores were selected with 44 percent. It is noteworthy to mention that 42 percent plan to shop at traditional department stores and 24 percent plan to shop at electronics stores this back-to-school season.

Back-to-school mobile device purchases expected to rise

Many back-to-school shoppers indicated they will continue to shop electronically this year to take advantage of the latest and greatest back-to-school shopping deals. When PriceGrabber survey respondents were asked to select all of the methods in which they plan to purchase back-to-school items this year, 13 percent answered they plan to shop using their mobile phone (compared to 6 percent in 2012), and 16 percent said they planned to make purchases via an electronic tablet device (versus 8 percent from last year). Sixty-nine percent of shoppers said they plan to make back-to-school product purchases online; 58 percent indicated purchases at a brick-and-mortar store; and only 11 percent noted a potential purchase from a printed catalog.

Free shipping, sales and coupons incentivize back-to-school shoppers

Consumers continue to look for ways to stretch their dollar and take advantage of retailer incentives to save money. According to the survey, 72 percent of consumers chose free shipping as the top retailer tactic that would entice them to make a back-to-school purchase this year. When asked to select all retailer tactics that would encourage them to make a back-to-school shopping purchase, sales came in a close second place with 71 percent of the vote; 69 percent cited coupons; 43 percent selected online promotions; 41 percent noted rebates; and 38 percent selected free items with a purchase.

Most back-to-school shopping will take place in August

According to PriceGrabber survey data, 50 percent of consumers plan to start their back-to-school shopping in August; 34 percent plan to start shopping in July; 7 percent noted June; 6 percent cited September, and only 3 percent selected October.

Visit PriceGrabber's Back-to-School Shopping Guide for deals on school supplies, backpacks, printers, dorm room furniture, computers, clothing, accessories, and more.

About PriceGrabber®

PriceGrabber® is a leading distributed ecommerce platform and shopping site that connects millions of shoppers each month with more than 12,000 merchants and sellers. We reach our consumer audience via desktop and mobile devices through a network of over 400 digital publisher partners as well as through our owned and operated web properties. Together with our distribution partners we drive over $1 billion in annual sales for our merchants. PriceGrabber is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA with operations across North and South America and in the United Kingdom. Visit us at