Back to School Technology Survey: Students Most Likely to Buy Tech

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Posted Aug 03, 2016

Back to school season is just around the corner, which means that back to school shopping season has already begun. According to, back to school spending has increased in recent years. And a big part of that increase could be due to the rising popularity of certain tech devices that could be useful for students. So how many back to school shoppers are likely to purchase tech this year? And what factors go into making those back to school technology purchases? We asked 1,000 respondents their thoughts on back to school shopping and the growing back-to-school technology market.

back to school technology

Back to School Shopping

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, just 11% of respondents said they are planning on going back to school or attending some classes this fall. And of those who aren’t taking any classes themselves, 22% said they do have kids that are going back to school in the fall.Of those who are either going back to school or have kids who are going back to school, 74% said that they are at least somewhat likely to make some school-related purchases this year. Parents of kids who are going back to school were slightly more likely to say that they plan on making back to school purchases than those who are going back to school themselves. 26% of those who are likely to buy back-to-school-related items said they plan on buying general school or office supplies. 23% are likely to purchase clothing. 17% are likely to purchase books. Another 17% are likely to purchase bags or accessories for back to school. 9% plan on purchasing computers. And 8% are likely to purchase other tech gadgets for back to school.

Technology Purchases

In general, 24% of respondents said they’ve made multiple technology purchases over the past year. 31% said they’ve made one such purchase. And 45% haven’t made any. Looking forward, 47% of respondents said they are at least somewhat likely to make technology-related purchases within the next year. Of those who are attending classes in the fall, 67% said they are somewhat likely to make tech purchases this year. And 58% of those who have kids going back to school in the fall said they are likely to make tech purchases this year.Of those respondents who are likely to make tech purchases this year, 19% said they are likely to purchase laptops. Another 19% are likely to buy smartphones. 16% said they would be interested in buying tablets. 11% might purchase entertainment or gaming devices. 9% are likely to purchase software or apps. 8% plan on buying desktop computers. 7% plan on buying audio equipment. And 6% want to buy wearable devices. Samsung, Apple, HP, Dell and Sony were the most popular brands mentioned by respondents who plan on buying tech devices this year.

Back to School Technology

When it comes to making those tech purchases, 21% of consumers said they consider price to be important. Another 21% value quality in their tech purchases. 14% said that brand name and ease of use are important factors for them. 12% look for functionality. 10% value positive customer reviews. And 9% value durability. Those who are going back to school or who have kids going back to school this year were just as likely to value things like cost and quality as other tech consumers.

Key Takeaways

While tech isn’t as high on most back-to-school shopping lists as things like notebooks and pencils, those shoppers are still more likely than others to purchase tech at some point this year. What that suggests is that students and parents aren’t necessarily tied to purchasing those tech devices during the back-to-school shopping season, even though they are likely to do so at some point in the near future. So tech brands could be wise to target students and parents with marketing efforts throughout the rest of the year as well. And if tech brands like Samsung, Apple and HP really want to unload some of their laptops and other back-to-school technology during August and September, they might have to hold decent back-to-school sales to appeal to those consumers who put price above all when it comes to buying tech.You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.Photo Credit: Apple Store Regent St. by Oswaldo Rubio under CC BY 2.0What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on August 2 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

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