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Online Weak Back-To-School Venue

The back-to-school selling season, a key component of the U.S. retailing calendar, is turning out to be something of a bust as far as online shopping goes, The Conference Board has reported.

“While online retailers are reaching an increasing number of consumers when it comes to holiday shopping, they are not connecting with consumers for back-to-school sales,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center.

The business think tank said that while about 40 percent of online consumers have children heading for the classroom this year, only about 15 percent plan to use the Internet to buy back-to-school items.

“While online shopping is on the upswing, the overwhelming majority of parents prefer shopping in traditional retail outlets when it comes to back-to-school products,” said Franco. “While this behavior is common for clothing purchases, retailers may be missing the boat on other items by targeting parents and ignoring the fact that more than half of all college-age students are the decision maker in back-to-school purchases.”