Nearly three of every five back-to-school shoppers this year expect to purchase some type of technology item, be it a smartphone, tablet, portable memory drive, calculator or headphones, according to the Consumer Technology Association.
That figure (59%) is a full 12% higher than consumers who said the same thing last year, according to the CTA. All told, consumers are expected to spend $18.5 billion on back-to-school tech products this year (up 6.5% over last year).
“This growth in tech spend is a reflection of tech becoming a frequently used medium for learning and commonplace in schools across the country,” says Janvier Depeazer, senior research analyst for CTA.
“At this point, tech is being used for teaching all different ages, and for many older students it’s becoming a required need for success in high school and college.”
Among the top items shoppers are expecting to purchase are portable memory sticks (71% of consumers expect to purchase them), basic calculators (55%), headphones (52%) and laptops (44%).
“Compared to last year, the top anticipated back-to-school tech purchase remained the same as portable memory, and the top five tech items remain the same but the order differs,” Depeazer says.
Other expected purchases include carrying or protective cases (48%), software (39%) and product subscriptions (22%).
Nearly all (95%) of BTS shoppers plan to visit brick-and-mortar stores to make these purchases, including mass retailers (88%), office supply stores (56%) and department stores (47%). Only 36% plan to visit a consumer technology store, according to the organization.
“Generally, a tech purchase decision that involves more research may result in an in-store purchase after a chance to interact/demo the product and ask questions to salespeople,” Depeazer says.
Even so, nearly half (49%) of shoppers will also hit online retailers including online-only retailers (80%), retailer Web sites (69%) and auction Web sites (35%).
By Aaron Baar for www.mediapost.com