A new FatWallet.com survey of back-to-school spending bodes badly for brick-and-mortar stores. About 52 percent of parents said they will buy back-to-school items online and 25 percent will use their phones to compare prices.
Forty percent said lowest price is the most important factor when they buy supplies, and only 26 percent said product quality was most important. About 15 percent said discounts and coupons were important.
More than 40 percent said prices are usually best in August.
The good news for salespeople is 28 percent of parents said they will buy new phones or laptops for their children this year.
Most parents said a smartphone is appropriate for early teens aged 13 to 15, but 33 percent said children 10 to 12 should have one and 11 percent said it can wait until the late teen years of 16 to 18. About 2 percent said it can wait until the students can buy their own.