Views of haul videos, also known as look-what-I-got-here, on mobile devices for back-to-school demonstrate a trend -- mobile devices are becoming the new TVs on college campuses. These videos took 43% of view share on YouTube in August, up from 1.5 times the mobile share of views in January, per the Google Consumer Survey highlighting back-to-school data. The engine took a long, hard view of trends during the back to school season and found mobile views only trail TV as the platform with the longest view time for haul videos, exceeding computer views by 15%.
The Google Consumer Survey conducted in August suggests that college students are 30 times more likely to list a phone as their favorite device. Looking to save space and money, students are using their mobile phones for networked gaming, streaming videos, and more.
Most millennials heading off to college sought products that save them time, space and money. For instance, Keurig released a college-branded product line late in 2013, helping to drive up searches 48% in August, compared with the prior year. If they couldn't find exactly what they want, they turn to video to figure out how to make it. Most will use Washi tape, typically made from natural fibers like bamboo or hemp.
Google's findings reveal that consumers searching for dorm room-related topics are about 100 times more likely to search for washi tape than the average Google user, and about 150-times more likely to search for wall decals.
Accessories for the hardware also trended higher. Searches for smartphones and laptops wireless chargers rose during the past few months -- up 72% since June and 14% YoY, per Google.
Google's search data suggests the back-to-school shopping season began at the start of summer. Searches began as early as May and peaked in August, lasting about one to two weeks longer than last year. Three weeks into August and the interest in back-to-school attire and products remain. Overall, searches grew 45% year on year (YoY) through Aug. 15.
Smarphones and tablets took a bigger role this year in shopping for kids kindergarten through grade 12. Retale, a U.S. location-based mobile app that aggregates weekly retail circulars to serve up to consumers, released findings from a commissioned study examining the shopping behavior of parents this back-to-school season. The study focused on the use of mobile devices, and overall spending trends, polling 1,000 parents with school-age children grades K-12.
Among parents who own a mobile device, 73% use them to shop for back-to-school items. About 79% buy direct from the devices, 97% view deals, 96% compare prices, 92% access coupons, 86% find stores, and 86% build shopping lists. Some 54% do these activities in and out-of-store.