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pricegrabber-back-to-school-budgets-july2012.png63% of consumers plan to spend up to $500 on back-to-school shopping this year (up from 48% last year), while a further 20% have budgets of between $500 and $1000, according to the latest results from a PriceGrabber survey. The initial results of the survey found 46% of respondents planning to increase their spending this year, compared to just 13% last year, while a July report from ShopperTrak forecasts 4% growth in back-to-school sales. Although year-over-year foot traffic percentages have decreased during the last 4 back-to-school shopping seasons, the ShopperTrak report predicts that this year, traffic will increase, and has been trending positively since Presidents Day.

Traditional Supplies Top Spending List; Tech Also Popular

In terms of the most common items on consumers’ shopping lists, the latest data released by PriceGrabber reveals that general school supplies (e.g. notebooks, binders) are top of mind, cited by 83% of the respondents planning to shop this season. New clothing (79%) and back-packs or tote bags (51%) are on the list for a majority, while half plan to buy books.

Not far behind, 40% expect to buy a tech item, with laptops (50%) and tablets (49%) the most popular purchases for these shoppers, ahead of smartphones (28%) and desktops (10%).

Shopping to Start Earlier This Year

Data previously released by PriceGrabber indicates that 35% of back-to-school shoppers will start their shopping this month, up from 31% last year, while the proportion waiting until August or September has dropped to 46%, from 56% last year. Overall, 55% of respondents say they plan to spread out their purchases to lessen the effect of the costs.

Other Findings:

  • 79% of the shoppers (the survey sample consisted of online consumers) plan to shop online for their back-to-school items this year, up from 69% last year.
  • Only 19% of shoppers this year said they would spend less than last year. In 2011, 35% projected spending less than the previous year.

About the Data: Conducted from to May 22 to June 5, 2012, the PriceGrabber survey includes responses from 4,450 US online shopping consumers, with 1,509 of the respondents planning to shop this back-to-school season.

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