Survey: Technology needs helping to drive back-to-school spending

BY Marianne Wilson

Consumers’ increased confidence in their own financial situation bodes well for back-to-school spending.

At least that’s according to Synchrony Financial’s Back-to-School survey, which found that clothing, shoes and electronics represent the majority of back-to-school spending for most families surveyed and more than a third expect to spend more in both categories this year. Longer supply lists and more technology needs are among the drivers of increased spending.

“Price and value continue to influence where shoppers buy for back-to-school," said Bart Schaller, executive VP and chief marketing officer, Synchrony Financial. “We consistently find shoppers are deal-driven and value the additional savings, rewards and benefits credit cards can offer.”

In other key findings

• Parents (65%) and college students (61%) will make the majority of their back-to-school purchases in store. Nearly 40% of college students plan to buy items locally and transport to school.

• Mail and newspapers remain a significant source of advertising for parents, although down slightly from last year. Nearly 30% of parents surveyed said they find the best deals with points and savings using their credit cards.

• The search for the best deals begins online for 62% of parents (up from 56% last year) and 70% (vs. 68% last year) of college students.

• Shoppers plan to use their phones more this year to find the best back-to-school bargains – 40% of parents will use their phone to search for deals, up from 34% last year. Half of college students indicate they will use their phone to compare prices.


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