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Smartphones and high street compete for back to school sales

17 August 2015 - 09:36 by Paul Tissington

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Parents preparing their children for the new school year in September will get their shopping done through a variety of platforms. But in 2015, it looks as though the key battle will be between smartphones used for safe shopping online and high street stores offering appealing deals.

This is according to the results of a survey conducted by Retale, which showed that 78 per cent of back to school purchases made by parents will be carried out from smartphone handsets.

Almost two thirds of respondents also said that they will be taking advantage of mobile-based coupons, to get money off the items they need to buy for kids in advance of the start of the school year next month.

Although shopping online has given parents many more options in terms of which retailers they can shop with, the power of the high street is still significant.

Over eighty per cent of those questioned said that they will be doing almost three quarters of their back to school shopping at bricks and mortar stores. Although, of course, the use of smartphones in the high street environment is prevalent, as evidenced by the popularity of voucher codes noted in the study.

British shoppers are entirely at home with the idea of buying products online as well as in-store to prepare for a big occasion, such as the start of the new school year. And although smartphones are making a dent in the high street’s share of the market, there are many instances in which the two rival platforms can actually benefit one another.

This is something that retailers attempt to leverage with websites and apps that encourage in-store visits, while offering online perks. And people who research products on their phones before they buy them on the high street can ensure that they identify the best deals.