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Teen Marketing – Back To School Online Spending

A survey conducted by Digital Marketing Services, Inc. on behalf of AOL’s shopping site, inStore, shows that "dads plan to spend nearly 25% more money on back-to-school shopping for their children than moms, with an overall budget of $336 compared to $270" and that kids are more capable of influencing dad’s purchases than mom’s. Dad is far more likely (68%) to shop online for Back to School items than Mom (42%). Parents’ Back to School purchase decisions will be driven primarily by  cost considerations (59%), followed by their childrens’ desires (28%),trends and styles (6%), and brand names (4%). Not only are Dads more likely to be influenced by their kids, they plan on being more generous as well, estimating they’ll spend $336 for back-to-school shopping, compared to the $270 Mom expects to spend.  The inStore survey also found that nearly six in ten shoppers (58%) want to research their potential purchases in advance rather than buying on impulse (42%).

The National Retail Federation‘s 2005 "Back-to-College Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey" conducted  by BIGresearch reports that college students and their parents will spend $34.4 billion on back to school products, an increase of 33.8% from the previous year and more than double what parents of non-college age students will spend.

The report says that back to school sales would reach $13.4 billion this year and, when combined with back to school spending for college students, sales increase to $47.8 billion.

Underclass college students will spend the most. According to the report, the average freshman will spend $1151.68, almost half of it on electronics ($540.35). Sophomores plan to spend $1028.57, mostly on textbooks, home furnishings, and clothes.

Parents and their college-bound kids will combine to spend $11.9 billion on textbooks, $8.2 billion on electronics, $3.6 billion on home furnishings, $3.0 billion on school supplies, $5.7 billion on clothing, and $2.0 billion on shoes. Additionally, college students will spend $700 million more on electronics than last year.

Only 32% plan to spend their back to college dollars online. Six in ten of parents and their college student kids will spend the back to school dollars at the campus bookstore (59.8%) and more than half (55.8%) will spend money at a discount store. Forty-one percent will spend money at an office supply store, and just over a third (36.1%) will spend money at a department store.

Tween Influences

A June 2005 Nickelodeon/Youth Intelligence "Tween Report" provides a glimpse into influence 9-14 year olds have in their families purchases. The survey says Tweens get an average of $9.15 per week in allowance, which they save to buy technology, entertainment and fashion items. They depend upon their parents to pay for necessities. Nearly three quarters of Tweens "have a lot of say" when it comes to buying their own clothes. Girls have influence over clothing purchases and movie and music purchase decisions and boys have influence on which TV shows to watch and which video games and consoles to buy.

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

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