Influential Sources For College Students' Back-To-School Purchase Decisions, August 2014 [TABLE]

Smartphones and tablets also come into play in students’ shopping, especially for research. But as a July 2014 survey for the National Retail Federation found, this tendency has plenty of abstainers. More than four in 10 respondents said they did not plan to use their phone or tablet for researching or buying back-to-school items.

Given the high incidence of mobile usage among students, brands naturally see it as a channel for reaching this audience with ads. Research by Ball State University, as summarized in an April 2014 release, might prompt second thoughts. According to Michael Hanley, advertising professor and director of the university’s Institute for Mobile Media Research, “research continues to show young people are annoyed by mobile ads. About 65% of students report receiving mobile ads, and 70% of them don’t like it.”

Regardless of medium, advertising is just one of many influences on students’ purchase decisions, and not the most important. When an August 2014 Fluent study asked students to say what shapes their back-to-school purchase decisions, the top of the list was populated by peer opinion and money-saving offers. Read the rest at eMarketer.