Survey: Back-To-School Digital Sales Gain

Based on credit and debit card data, Bank of America said consumers are spending more online this year in the back-to-school season.

A separate Bank of America survey indicated that 78% of consumers plan to do most of their back-to-school shopping in August. It also indicated that 38% of consumers start their back-to-school shopping in July, which still leaves a lot of shoppers accumulating school supplies late in the back-to-school period.

Although some research has indicated a drift back to brick-and-mortar stores for the shopping season, Bank of America stated that total online transactions are up 37% for artist supply stores, 11% for book and magazine stores, 32% for clothing stores, 61% for department stores, 25% for electronics/appliances stores, 2% for office supply stores and 12% for sporting goods stores.

However, the online gains are happening at the slender end of the business, except in one case. When Bank of America looked at point of sale versus online, it found that transactions weighed heavily in the direction of in store:

  • Artist supply stores: POS 88%, online 11%
  • Book/magazine stores: POS 66%, online 26%
  • Clothing stores: POS 81%, online 16%
  • Department stores: POS 88%, online 11%
  • Electronics/appliance stores: POS 30%, online 56%
  • Office supply stores: POS 92%, online 7%
  • Sporting goods stores: POS 85%, online 13%