Click here to close now.


Agile Computing Authors: SmartBear Blog, Victoria Livschitz, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

Deloitte Survey: Back-to-School Shoppers Teach New Lessons

Half of back-to-school shoppers concerned about data security in-store; Online moves up to No.2 shopping destination

NEW YORK, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Traditionally one of the most anticipated trips of the year for parents and children alike, back-to-school shopping may no longer be the experience it once was among U.S households, according to Deloitte's Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys, released today. for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting." border="0" alt="As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting." align="left" src=""/>

Parents and their children in grades K-12 will spend a combined $543 on back-to-school items, and double that, at $1,223, on college spending.  Parents alone expect to spend 13 percent less than last year according to both surveys.  Those with students in college expect their child's contributions to remain relatively steady at $436 as compared with 2013, whereas students in grades K-12 are expected to contribute a smaller amount, $173, to the family budget.

"While the uneven economic recovery is still impacting consumers' spending intentions, it may not be the factor it was in recent years," said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution practice leader.  "There appear to be other forces at play that are diminishing the significance of back-to-school as a limited-time-only shopping event. Schools, for example, frequently furnish supply lists, and pencils and notebooks are becoming more discretionary as many students rely on digital screens to complete homework assignments; additionally, 24/7 online convenience allows parents – and students – to shop any time, not just during the traditional mid- to late-summer back-to-school period.  Consumers are more  precise about what they buy, and may no longer feel the need to stock up as they did in the days before the Internet."

More than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) shopping for children in grades K-12 indicate their back-to-school purchases will be driven by the school's recommended product list, rather than their child's requests.  Additionally, they may be delaying some of their purchases until after school begins, as more than one-quarter (26 percent) of parents expect to complete their shopping after the start of the school year.

In terms of where consumers plan to shop, "online sites" moved up to the No.2 shopping destination, tied with "office supply/technology stores," and behind "discount/value department stores" for the first time in the survey's history.  The number of shoppers who prefer to purchase from retailers offering the option to buy online and pick up in the store increased to 40 percent from 33 percent last year.  Nearly six in 10 (57 percent) say they plan to conduct research online before buying in the physical store.

"Rather than thinking solely in terms of e-commerce, retailers need to consider how consumers' digital interactions — not exclusively purchases — influence what they do and don't buy in the brick-and-mortar store," continued Paul. "Retailers should look at their online and mobile channels as a greater opportunity to drive traffic and revenue at the physical store, rather than viewing it as merely a point of purchase, where it actually tends to deliver lower sales than the physical store as a whole."

In addition to these elements shaping back-to-school shopping, consumers still have the economy in mind.  Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents believe the economy is recovering, but continue to exercise some caution.  While high food prices once again top their list of economic concerns that could impact their spending plans, other worries dipped this year, including energy prices (down 5 percentage points), medical costs (down 10 percentage points) and taxes (down 12 percentage points).  

Data security, privacy concerns persist
Personal data protection adds another layer of complexity to winning over the consumer.  Nearly six in 10 (55 percent) of respondents in the Back-to-School survey say they are more concerned about the protection of their personal data when shopping online than one year ago.  Those worries extend to the physical store, where more than half (51 percent) of respondents said they are concerned about the protection of their personal data.  However, 44 percent acknowledged that they are more likely to shop at a retailer who provides education surrounding the security of their personal data.

"Given recent high-profile data breaches, consumers are keenly aware of potential threats," continued Paul.  "Retailers should consider risk management as a fundamental part of their brand reputation and long-term growth.  Securing the transactional environment is no longer a standalone component, and retailers need to be vigilant to detect abnormal activity, and also be ready and resilient enough to regain control should incidents occur."

A new social scene emerges
While nearly one in five (18 percent) parents of children in grades K-12 plan to visit social media sites, on par with last year, the percentage more than doubles in college households.  Two in five, or 44 percent, of respondents said they or their children plan to use social media sites to assist in their back-to-college shopping.   

However, this year reveals a shift in the value that households with college-bound students place on social sources, with declining emphasis on simply looking for deals.  While the number of shoppers checking social media channels for promotions dipped 12 percentage points to 55 percent compared with 2013, the number who plan to visit retailers' pages (46 percent) jumped 12 percentage points, and those posting comments and reviews (37 percent) climbed 13 percentage points from 2013.

Among the electronics that college students own, the survey revealed that smartphone ownership overtook personal computer (desktop and laptop) ownership in 2014.  Nine in 10 (89 percent) college students own smart phones, compared with 84 percent who own a desktop or laptop.  Additionally, the percentage of college students who own tablets has grown to 32 percent from 18 percent last year.

For more information about Deloitte's Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys and findings, please visit:, or follow @DeloitteCB, #Back2School_D.

About the Surveys
The surveys were commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between July 5 and July 10, 2014.  The Back-to-School survey polled a sample of 1,063 parents of school-aged children and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus three percentage points. The Back-to-College survey polled a sample of 453 parents of college children and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus five percentage points.

About Deloitte's Retail & Distribution Practice
Deloitte is a leading presence in the retail and distribution industry, providing audit, consulting, risk management, financial advisory and tax services to more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500 retailers.  With more than 1,400 professionals, Deloitte's retail & distribution practice provides insights, services and solutions assisting retailers across all major subsectors including apparel, grocery, food and drug, wholesale and distribution and online. For more information about Deloitte's retail & distribution sector, please visit

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.  Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Logo -

SOURCE Deloitte

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.