Back to School: The Digital Days of Summer

Thursday, August 22, 2013 | 4:27 PM

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Oh, those unmistakable signs that school is just round the corner: kids returning from camp, summer jobs ending, and the last long-weekend of the summer looming just around the corner. Yes, we’re deep in the heat of that other season that bridges the gap from Summer to Fall: Back-to-School.

Remember how much fun it was to go shopping with your parents for back-to-school supplies? Even though you didn’t want summer to end, a new school year represented a golden opportunity to reinvent yourself.

Years ago, you probably didn’t think about laptops and phone plans when you were begging your parents for the latest and greatest. But kids today are incredibly connected – a whopping 82 percent of those between 13-17 have smartphones.

The ritual of back-to-school shopping hasn’t gone away – but it’s definitely changed with the growth of mobile and online retail. Whether kids are heading to school for the first time, or packing up their car to head off for to university, more and more, we are relying on the Internet to find the best back-to-school deals. In fact, the number of back-to-school related searches on Google in Canada are already ahead of last year’s record pace.

Back-to-School: Digital Days

We’ve highlighted some of the key back-to-school shopping trends emerging this year in a nifty new Infographic you can find on Think Insights:
  • The average Canadian will spend $488 on back-to-school supplies – roughly a third of it ($163) online.
  • In August, searches peak for the essentials, including school supplies, laptops and phone plans.
  • 79 percent of shoppers will search online for back-to-school deals.
  • For the wait-and-see set, back-to-school searches continue throughout the entire month of September.
Getting inspired with video
With a ravenous appetite for online video, Canadians are increasingly turning to YouTube for back-to-school product information and ideas.
Never too early
And while back-to-school season is in full swing, apparently it’s not too early to start thinking of that other big season just around the corner: Halloween. That’s right, searches for Halloween costumes are already on the rise, up more than 200% in the last 30 days!