Home Is Big Gainer in Back-to-School Purchases This Season, Survey Says

       

       

ARMONK, N.Y.-Home-goods purchases scored the largest increases among merchandise categories in back-to-school shopping this past season, according to a survey by IBM.

Purchases of home furnishings registered year-over-year gains of 30 percent in July and more than 25 percent in August, the survey found. In addition, sales in the home categories from mobile devices recorded year-over-year increases of 19.1 percent in July and more than 20.1 percent in August.

“Back-to-school season is proving to be a trigger event that spans across categories beyond just notebooks and backpacks,” said Jill Puleri, global retail leader for IBM. “Retailers that are cashing in are those who understand how this trigger drives sales for home furnishings, as well as for apparel, and can target their inventory levels and promotions accordingly.”

Another trend that emerged from the survey was the growing importance of social networks to overall shopping. IBM said shopper referrals to retailer sites from social networks generated 1.6 percent of all sales, up 25.1 percent over July 2011. In August, social commerce-related sales accounted for 1.8 percent of all sales, an increase of 69.7 percent over August of last year.