Survey: Coupons, sales strong influence on BTS shopping so far

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The average American family had completed only 41.6% of its back-to-school shopping as of August 11, according to the National Retail Federation's latest Back-to-School/College Consumers Intentions and Actions survey.

The survey, which was conducted by BIGresearch, polled 8,543 consumers from August 4 to 11.

Families of college students had completed 41% of their shopping by early August and 30.5% of families with school-aged children hadn't even started their shopping. Of the back-to-school purchases made so far, approximately 47.8% were influenced by coupons, sales and/or promotions, according to the survey. College shoppers said deals influenced 40.8% of shopping decisions so far.
 
According to data released by NRF in July, back-to-school and back-to-college spending will total $47.5 billion this year, with families of students in kindergaten through 12th grade spending 7.7% less than last year and families of college students spending slightly more than last year.

Coupons had influenced 43.4% of back-to-school shoppers to shop at a particular store. Other media influencing back-to-school shoppers decisions where to shop included advertising inserts, which were cited by 42.1% of respondents, newspapers by 32.2%, in-store promotions by 32.1%, word of mouth by 29.9% and direct mail by 16.2%.

While coupons and advertising inserts were the biggest influencers for college shoppers as well, television ads played a bigger role there. Coupons were cited by 38.8% of respondents as having influenced where they shopped, advertising inserts by 31.4%, word of mouth by 31.2%, in-store promotions by 23.7%, newspapers by 23.2% and television ads by 21.2%.

For consumers having back-to-school shopping left to do, 62.2% said they will head to a discount store, 44.8% to a department store and 31.8% to a clothing store. For college shoppers, 48% will be going to a discount store, 33.5% to a department store and 29% to an office supplies store.

Respondents said the retailers with the best back-to-school Web sites were Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penney, Staples, Kohl's and Old Navy ranked among the top. The best back-to-college Web sites were Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon.com, JCPenney, Staples and Office Depot.

A retailer's Web site motivated 18.5% of back-to-school shoppers and 14.2% of college shoppers to shop with that retailer.
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