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Over 70 Percent Of Shoppers Will Make Back-To-School Purchases In-Store

And 30 percent will look to mobile coupon apps for deals, according to research from ChargeItSpot.

In the final weeks of the back-to-school sales push, it appears that consumers will turn primarily to brick-and-mortar: Over 70 percent of shoppers will purchase their school-related items in physical stores — versus just 30 percent who plan to shop online, according to new research from ChargeItSpot.

Back-to-school shopping season has been in swing for several weeks. But these findings indicate that there’s still time for retailers to boost foot traffic from consumers looking to shop in stores to peruse products in person or avoid shipping hassles.

The best way for retailers to reach late-August back-to-school shoppers? Mobile.

It’s hardly news that customers shop with their smartphones in hand: As we wrote in 2015, 90 percent use their mobile devices to do product research, price comparisons, and more while browsing in stores. But this year, a reported 30 percent will search for deals on mobile coupon apps, ChargeItSpot finds.

“Back-to-school shopping is one of the busiest shopping seasons for retailers,” said Douglas Baldasare, CEO and founder of ChargeItSpot. “With school supplies becoming more expensive and more high-tech, our findings show that parents are serious about finding the best deals. Mobile coupon apps are their top choice for on-the-go shopping trips.”

So, what’s the takeaway for retailers? Delivering relevant deals and offers on mobile matters — as does taking advantage of the way search has transformed so that shoppers can find their store locations, period. For example, growth in mobile searches for local places without a location qualifier (“near me,” zip code) has outpaced searches that do include “near me” — a trend that indicates that location relevance is now all but assumed by consumers.

As such, marketers need to make sure that their location and inventory data is correct and listed across platforms, so that they show up in unbranded local searches without a location qualifier — like when someone types in only “school supplies” or “school clothes.” Local brick-and-mortars need able to provide the answers that people want when they make on-the-go searches via voice or text.

“People [now] know that the results will automatically be relevant to their location — thanks to their phone,” said Google’s Lisa Gevelber. “It’s kind of magical.”

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of GeoMarketing.com. A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.