The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Student Shoppers Mix Web and Store Visits

Since college students spend a great deal of time on their phones, does that mean they prefer to shop with their digits instead of heading to a physical store? Not necessarily.

According to the latest monthly student survey conducted by NACS OnCampus Research, students tend to blend their online and in-person shopping. For instance, the majority of students still buy most clothing during visits to bricks-and-mortar locations. However, 27% will go online first to look up information before they set off for the store.

Conversely, 21% of students said they browsed apparel in a physical store prior to actually placing their order online.

The same is true of technology products. While 41% of students said they bought tech merchandise online, another 43% researched tech products on the web before making the purchase at a store.

More than two-thirds of students do visit the websites of online-only retailers, such as eBay and Amazon, at least once a month, with about a quarter doing so every week. Whether they’re shopping online or in a physical store, price is still the most important facet in deciding what and where to buy. Free shipping was important to 56% of respondents. Convenience and product quality still matter to students, but not nearly as much as cost.

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