89% of parents shop for back-to-school based on mobile promotions

As many as 85 percent of parents said they would use a smartphone for help as they shopped for back-to-school items, according to a report commissioned by location-based mobile advertising platform Retale. And 89 percent of these consumers also reported they would shop based on mobile promotions.

The third annual Back-to-School Report focused specifically on the use of smartphones while shopping and polled parents of children in grades K-12.

"The use of mobile to help with back-to-school shopping has risen nearly 10 percentage points year-over-year, according to our data," said Pat Dermody, president of Retale. "It's clear that the omnichannel customer journey continues to define the way most people approach their purchases, and people continue to discover the advantages of leveraging mobile in their shopping."

For those who said they would use smartphones, 65 percent would use the phone for comparing prices; 62 percent for searching for deals; 53 percent for creating shopping lists; 52 percent for checking store hours; 49 percent for researching products; 48 percent for accessing saved coupons; 48 percent for finding store locations; 43 percent for checking product reviews; and 42 percent for actual purchases.

The number of back-to-school shoppers who said they would use their mobile device to make an actual purchase was up from 37 percent in 2015.

About 20 percent of parents said they would perform these mobile activities only in the physical store, while 34 percent responded that they perform the activities outside of a store.

In addition, 89 percent of those surveyed said they select a store based on the availability of mobile promotions. Still, 80 percent said they plan to make at least 70 percent of these purchases in-store, only down from 82 percent in 2015.

"Certain annual events continue to hold strong for brick-and-mortar businesses, and back-to-school is no exception," said Dermody. "The yearly trip to stores for school supplies is a ritual that hasn't slowed in the face of e-commerce. Instead, mobile has been more seamlessly integrated into the in-store shopper's journey."

According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending is expected to rise significantly this year, up from $68 billion in 2015 to $75.8 billion in 2016. As of July, 50 million parents had already started the BTS shopping process.

For more:
- see this Retale press release

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