Most consumers begin their online shopping weeks before they decide to buy anything. 2014 National Retail Federation research found that 22.5% of adult US internet users shopping for kids ages 6 to 17 started two or more months before school started. A further 44.5% began between three weeks and a month ahead. Back-to-college ramped up even earlier.
Much of the early shopping happens online—a behavior reflected in online back-to-school sales generally peaking earlier than in-store sales. “Online shopping starts earlier and ends earlier [than in-store],” said Glenn Lalich, vice president of research and analysis at PM Digital, citing data from Shop.org that showed 30.3% of online shoppers started their back-to-school shopping at least two months before the start of school. Read the rest at eMarketer.