Survey Finds In-store Shopping Will Continue to Rule the U.S. Back-to-school Season

Survey reveals less than two percent of back-to-school shoppers will shop exclusively online

NEUHAUSEN, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Johnson Controls today announced that Sensormatic Solutions, its leading global retail solutions portfolio, released the results of its 2019 U.S. Back-to-School Shopping Trends survey of more than 1,100 consumers (parents and college students). The survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of respondents will be doing their back-to-school shopping in store this year, with less than 2% of respondents stating that they plan to do all their back-to-school shopping online.

An overwhelming majority of survey respondents will be back-to-school shopping primarily in brick-and-mortar stores across all product categories, including:

  • School supplies: 86%
  • Clothing/apparel: 82%
  • Shoes: 81%
  • Classroom supplies: 76%
  • Backpacks: 61%
  • Electronics: 47%
  • Sporting equipment: 41%
  • Dorm/apartment furniture: 32%

“Consumers still want to shop in store, especially for back-to-school,” said Nick Pompa, vice president and general manager of ShopperTrak, Sensormatic Solutions. “When shopping for young children, parents and students want to experience products first-hand before making a purchase. Although e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, back-to-school shopping still primarily takes place in physical stores with most consumers (62%) planning to shop at two or three stores this year.”

The state of the U.S. economy doesn’t disrupt back-to-school

The survey also found that back-to-school means back-to-spending for most U.S. consumers this year. Nearly 58% have a flexible spending budget, while 27% don’t have a budget at all and plan to buy what’s necessary for the upcoming school year. Half of respondents (51%) anticipate spending the most money on clothing/apparel (51%), followed by school supplies like pencils and notebooks (19%).

Interestingly, the state of the U.S. economy and trade is expected to have little to no impact on back-to-school spending habits this year. Half of respondents (51%) said it will not impact their shopping budget this year. When asked the same question, 12% stated they plan to spend more this year compared to last year.

“Having flexible and/or no budgets for back-to-school shopping presents an opportunity for retailers to upsell their customers in stores. To capitalize on this, retailers can

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