August 18, 2011, 3:41 PM

Back to school with smartphones and tablets

Mobile commerce is set to make gains as students and parents shop for supplies.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Smartphones and tablet computers will play prime roles in this year’s back-to-school shopping season, suggest survey data released today by the National Retail Federation.

The trade group says that nearly a fourth of consumers shopping for college supplies, and almost a third of consumers shopping for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade, will use tablets to make those purchases.

The survey also found that when it comes to planned purchases with tablets, college juniors lead the pack at 47.5%, followed by graduate students, 47.4%, and freshmen, 47.2%.  

Additionally, 18.8% of K-12 shoppers, and 16.8% of college shoppers, will use smartphones to make purchases during the back-to-school season.

“Retailers are using everything in their arsenal to attract customers whenever and wherever they want to shop, and mobile retailing is a big part of that strategy,” says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers looking to save time and money while shopping for school items will be able to find their favorite brands in an instant, complete their checklists, and purchase what they need all with a swipe of their finger.”  

The National Retail Federation based its results on surveys of 8,684 consumers conducted between July 1 and July 6 by BIGResearch.

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