Infographic: Old-School Channels Make the Grade

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Back-to-school shopping puts parents' bargain hunting skills to the test. And because cost is the most important factor in determining where parents shop, according to the “Back-To-School Shopping Q3 2013” report by programmatic media-buying platform provider Rocket Fuel, moms and dads start studying up on where to find the best deals early. In fact, 36% of parents kick off their back-to-school shopping in July and 97% finish checking off their shopping list before September.

And parents know that color-coordinated folders and glitter notebooks come at a price. Nearly one third of parents (31%) expect to spend more in-store on their back-to-school shopping this year; however, only 19% of parents plan on spending more online. Seven percent of parents expect to spend more both in-store and online this year. Perhaps this is because parents intend to purchase the majority of their supplies in-store. The report cites that less than 10% of parents plan to do most of their back-to-school shopping online.

In addition, most parents discover back-to-school deals through traditional channels. For example, 75% of parents learn about promotions and sales through print circulars; 63% say they also hear about these bargains through TV advertisements. However, that doesn't mean that brands' digital efforts don't reach parents. According to the report, 57% of respondents say that they also learn about back-to-school sales and promotions online, such as through email on a laptop or PC. Mobile is also part of the equation. Thirty-three percent of affluent parents—parents who have an annual household income of $100,000 or more—learn about back-to-school deals through mobile devices or tablets.

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