August 22, 2013, 3:53 PM

Smartphones are playing a significant role in back-to-school shopping

 38.7% of parents with smartphones are using their devices to 'showroom.'

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

Smartphone-wielding parents are 22% more likely than the average shopper to visit a bricks-and-mortar store of the department store chain.

Mobile commerce is having a significant impact on back-to-school retail, according to "Back to School Shopping: 2013 Trends," a survey of a subset of 12,000 smartphone owners who have at least one school-age child. The survey was conducted by location analytics vendor Placed Inc.

48.9% of parents with smartphones are using their devices to find coupons and discounts, the survey finds. 38.7% are using their devices to showroom (checking out products in-store while using a smartphone to compare prices and potentially buy online later); 34.2% to access a retailer's mobile site or app; 31.9% to find a store location; 30.5% to make a shopping list; 24.9% to obtain product information; and 20.5% to make a purchase, the survey says.

Of the 20.5% of parents with smartphones who are making back-to-school purchases on their mobile devices, these shoppers are 22% more likely than the average shopper to visit a Macy's bricks-and-mortar store, the survey says.  They are 22% more likely to visit an Office Depot store, 21% more likely to visit an OfficeMax store, 19% more likely to visit a Best Buy store, 8% more likely to visit a Bed, Bath & Beyond store, 6% more likely to visit a Sears store, 4% more likely to visit an Old Navy store, 4% more likely to visit a Staples store, 3% more likely to visit a Radio Shack store, 3% more likely to visit a Kohl's store, and 1% more likely to visit a Target store, the survey finds.

Of smartphone-wielding parents who are purchasing back-to-school goods on their mobile devices, these shoppers are 9% less likely than the average shopper to visit a Sam's Club bricks-and-mortar store, the survey finds. They are 5% less likely to visit a Kmart store, 3% less likely to visit a J.C. Penney store, and 3% less likely to visit a Costco store, the survey says.

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