LOS ANGELES, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A hopeful sign that the economic recovery is gaining traction, PriceGrabber® just released the results of its first Back-to-School Shopping Forecast survey, revealing that nearly half (46 percent) of consumers are planning to spend more this back-to-school shopping season than in 2011. In comparison, only 13 percent of shoppers planned to spend more last year, and this data was reflected in an overall disappointing back-to-school season for retailers in 2011. Conducted from to May 22 to June 5, 2012, the survey includes responses from 4,450 U.S. online shopping consumers, with 1,509 of the respondents planning to shop this back-to-school season.
While almost half of the surveyed shoppers said they plan to spend more this back-to-school season, 35 percent of respondents plan to spend the same amount of money, and 19 percent of shoppers plan to spend less this year. In 2011, 52 percent of PriceGrabber survey respondents said they would spend the same amount of money on back-to-school shopping, and 35 percent said they would spend less.
Consumers plan to start back-to-school shopping earlier in 2012
It's the start of summer and consumers are already beginning to think about back-to-school shopping. According to PriceGrabber survey data, 17 percent of consumers plan to start their back-to-school shopping in June, 35 percent plan to start shopping in July, 44 percent noted August, and only 3 percent cited September. In 2011, respondents planned to shop a little later in the summer with only 13 percent planning to start their shopping in June, 31 percent in July, 49 percent in August, and 7 percent in September.
"From last year's holiday shopping season through the middle of 2012, we have seen consumers starting to shop earlier surrounding major shopping seasons and holidays, and we expect this trend to continue this back-to-school shopping season," stated Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. "While PriceGrabber survey data reveals that many consumers are planning to spend more money this back-to-school shopping season, a few are still hesitant about spending, leading shoppers to search for deals even earlier to take advantage of retailer incentives and discounts such as free shipping, coupons and sales."
Most shoppers still plan to spread out their purchases
Similar to last year, shoppers still plan to spread out their back-to-school purchases in order to distribute the cost over a longer time period. According to PriceGrabber survey data, 55 percent of consumers plan to spread out their back-to-school purchases this year.
"Back-to-school shopping can quickly become expensive," added Jones. "In today's challenging economic climate, it's important for families and students to save on back-to-school items. Many consumers are harnessing the power of the Internet to find deals, compare prices, set price alerts, print coupons, and take advantage of online promotional codes and free shipping to save extra cash."
PriceGrabber is a leading online shopping site with more than 23 million unique shoppers monthly. At PriceGrabber, savvy shoppers can instantly find and compare millions of unique products and services across 25 categories with more than 11,000 merchants. Compare products side by side to find the right retailers at the best prices within popular categories, such as Digital Cameras, TVs, Electronics, Computers, Clothing, Books, and more. PriceGrabber provides shoppers with the right product from the right merchant at the best price anytime, anywhere. Visit us at http://www.pricegrabber.com.