Canadian's Internet Business

Canadian Back to School eCommerce (Statistics and Tips)

The Bank of Montreal focused on students seeking a secondary education in their 2014 Post-Secondary Student Survey. The bank also revealed that total retail sales are expected to climb 3.5-4% this back-to-school season, making it one of the most busy times of year for retailers.  Last year, the estimated average amount spent on school supplies was about $428 per student.

“Back-to-school shopping is among the most important and highest profile seasons for Canadian retailers. Total retail sales are expected to climb 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent year over year in 2014, with a similar gain anticipated for the back-to-school season,” said Benjamin Reitzes, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. “The importance of attaining a post-secondary education has increased consistently over the past few decades, with about two million students creating a growing market for retailers. This trend is expected to continue as the focus on higher education will only sharpen in the years ahead.”

University and college students expect to spend an average of $1,121 on back-to-school purchases this year. Purchases include a broader range of items since many of these older students are living on their own.

Online sellers of school supplies, clothing and related technology can use strategies similar to offline retail, with a focus on convenience, value and deals.

Last year, Google Canada reported that back to school shoppers did approximately one third of their shopping online in August, spending an average of $163.  79% of all Canadian shoppers searched online for back-to-school items and 89% of mobile users did so.  The top search terms were laptops, phone plans, school supplies, and back-to-school.

Will you be selling ‘back to school’ items online this year? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below.

Inaugural BMO Post-Secondary Student Survey 2014
Retailers to Benefit as Canadians Spend More This Year on Back-to-School Shopping: BMO 2013
Google Canada Think Insights 2013

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