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September 20, 2012

Consumers Buying Home Goods during Back-to-School Shopping, Says IBM

By Mandira Srivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Back-to-school shopping is considered a prominent shopping tradition when most department stores offer sales on school supplies, as well as clothes.

Recent trends in shopping were detailed in a survey conducted by the IBM (News - Alert) benchmark, a part of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative.

 The study conducted by the IBM Benchmark suggests the biggest retail benefits this shopping season came from home goods purchases, which increased 30 percent in July and more than 25 percent in August over their respective months in 2012.

The study says that during July and August, U.S. consumers were not buying clothes and notebooks for their children, but rather items for the home.

“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 at 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, this year's winners were the companies that successfully connected consumers with the right products, at the right price, and through the right medium–whether in a store, a mobile device or through popular social media channels.”

Many experts believe the consumer shopping trend is influenced by their peers and social networks when social sales increase 69.7 percent.  

"When I speak to executives at the leading companies, one of the discussions that continues to come up most frequently is around harnessing big data and their efforts to try and understand how to take all the noise and word of mouth that is being generated and make sense of it," added W. Raghupathi, Professor of Information Systems, School of Business at Fordham University. 

 The social influence was more visible when it comes to apparel shopping. 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

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