September 22, 2004, 12:00 AM

Internet shopping: Part of going back to school, says research report

FeedbackResearch.com reports that 54% of consumers who made back-to-school purchases either purchased or planned to purchase apparel online while 62% bought or planned to buy books online. 25% bought or planned to buy supplies online.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Internet shopping is playing an increasingly important role in preparing students to return to school, according to FeedbackResearch.com. The division of Claria Corp. found that 54% of consumers who made back-to-school purchases either purchased or planned to purchase apparel online while 62% bought or planned to buy their books online. About 25% bought or planned to buy supplies online.

The survey results were obtained by a combination of analyzing actual online traffic from May 1 to Aug. 25 at back-to-school focused retail sites as well as surveying consumers directly.

FeedbackResearch found the number of consumers who either bought or said they planned to buy apparel online was up 19% from last year while those buying or planning to buy books online was up 5% from last year. Supply purchases were up 2% from last year.

The researcher reports that Amazon.com is the top site for purchasing textbooks with 33% of respondents making purchases there followed by Bartleby.com with 14.5% and BarnesandNoble.com with 10.8%.

In the apparel category, OldNavy.com surpassed sister company Gap.com as the top online site for back-to-school purchases with 44% of respondents making purchases compared to 32% at JCPenney.com and 30% at Gap.com.

For school supplies, Staples.com was the leader with 22.2% of the total category traffic, followed closely by OfficeDepot.com with 22.1% and TigerDirect.com with 15.5%.

Another interesting finding, FeedbackResearch.com reports, is that 63% of those who made online purchases used search tools to research offerings before making a purchase.

 

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