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Survey: Stores leading back-to-school purchase destination


San Jose, Calif. - On average, consumers say 64% of their back-to-school shopping will take place in-store, the rest online via computer or mobile device. A new survey of 1,001 U.S. parents with school-age children from customer experience solutions provider Baynote and The E-tailing Group also shows that 40% of consumers say that paper catalogs influence their in-store purchases, more than any other channel.

A close second is Amazon, with 36% saying the e-commerce site influences their in-store buying habits. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they will be using smartphones more to research products as compared to 23% who will actually be using those phones to make purchases. While in-store, 49% of consumers will use smartphones to redeem coupons and 40% will use them to compare prices on Amazon.

Other notable findings include:

• Eighty-four percent of shoppers say they will likely tap into conditional free shipping offers, more than any other promotion.

• E-mail promotions are a key driver in back-to-school buying, with more than 80% saying they will likely take advantage this season.

• Flash sales and social media promotions remain secondary to more traditional methods of deals, but are gaining traction: 64% of respondents said they would be likely to take advantage of each this year.

• Social media influence is dominated by Facebook, with 24% saying they or their student will use the social network when completing back-to-school shopping; the number rises to 31% when accounting for only college age students who say Facebook plays a role in online back to school shopping.

• Seventy percent of respondents say they will shop together with their student in-store; 36% will shop together online.

• Eighty-five percent of respondents said their student's wish list (items they would love to get) is influential in the purchasing process, second only to school-supplied lists and followed by product reviews, with 79% listing them as influential.

• Most shoppers fit into two categories — those who want to get ahead of the game and start shopping as soon as they can (37%); or those who wait to buy based on promotions (26%).

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