Back-to-School E-Commerce Sales of School Supplies Grow Double Digits in 2012, According to The NPD Group

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Consumers didn’t just spend more money online this year, they also spent more time online researching what they were going to purchase. According to NPD’s Back-to-School Monitor

“The industry has begun to see a shift in shopping behaviors with more consumers purchasing their school supplies online,” said Lora Morsovillo, executive director of office supplies at NPD.

Online retailers saw a big boost from this year’s back-to-school season as e-commerce sales of traditional back-to-school supplies such as binders, pens, and organizers, grew 12 percent from July 1 through August 25 compared to last year, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s Weekly Tracking Service. Overall, total retail sales of traditional back-to-school supplies were flat.

Consumers didn’t just spend more money online this year, they also spent more time online researching what they were going to purchase. According to NPD’s Back-to-School Monitor, online searches of coupons and retailer’s websites increased 3 percentage points in July, compared to 2011. On-demand information has become crucial in back-to-school shopping as well. According to the survey, emails and text messages from retailers are increasing in importance, up 6 percentage points from 2011.

“The industry has begun to see a shift in shopping behaviors with more consumers purchasing their school supplies online,” said Lora Morsovillo, executive director of office supplies at NPD. “Not only does online shopping help consumers to find better deals, it provides more assurance that they will get everything they need while also avoiding crowds.”

Many online shoppers held on to their cash, however, until the end of the back-to-school season. E-commerce sales experienced the biggest boost during the last two weeks of August, with sales increasing nearly 28 percent and 16 percent, respectively, while brick-and-mortar retail outlets experienced their biggest gains during the last week in August.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 2,000 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit npd.com and http://www.npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdtech and @npdgroup.

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