The Web A Major Source for Back-to-School Revenues
More consumers went back-to-school shopping online compared with last year, according to independent research conducted by Feedback Research (www.feedbackresearch.com), a division of The Gator Corporation.
Feedback analyzed the online behavior of nearly 35 million users and found that at least in the categories of books and apparel online shopping continues to gain momentum over traditional in-store shopping. According to the data, 57% of respondents, a 12% increase over last year, bought or planned to buy books/textbooks online, and 35% of shoppers, an 8% increase over 2002, were planning to purchase apparel online for the 2003 back-to-school shopping season.
Additionally, survey results indicated there was an overall increase in households with school age children shopping online during back-to-school promotions this year. Specifically, 76% of respondents with school age children bought or planned to buy books online while 69% of these respondents bought or planned to buy apparel online.
Nevertheless, shopping at store locations was still the number one method of buying books and textbooks during back-to-school sales, with 65% of respondents selecting shopping in-store over online. The good news for online marketers is that this represents a decline of 7% points from last year.
Not surprisingly, the most popular sites for books/textbooks purchases during Back-to-School sales were Amazon.com, which experienced visits from 43% of all category visitors, and BarnesandNoble.com, which experienced visits from 35% of the visitors. Gap.com and OldNavy.com led the way for apparel merchants, receiving the most traffic in this category -- 22% and 25% respectively.
Before purchasing at store locations or through catalog orders, 71% of student households turned to the Internet this year to research product or pricing information online for books/textbooks, and 41% to perform this research for apparel.