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As the summer begins to wind down, children all over the country are gearing up to go back to school. And in this digital age, brick and mortar stores aren’t the only place parents are going for notebooks, folders and binders. According to a study from the National Retail Federation (NRF), 40% of people intend to do their back to school shopping online, up from 32% last year. That’s a 42% increase from the 21% survey that came in during 2007.

Retail: Back to School Goes Online - BACK2SCHOOL

This is hugely important for retail. As we’ve stated before, we like companies that aim high for e-commerce sales even if they’re a bit unrealistic. You can’t just hope for 8-10% of your sales to come from a website and be OK with that. We’re living in a digital age and people are moving full speed ahead without ever looking back.

Hedgeye’s Managing Director of Retail Brian McGough sums up what this growth in e-commerce means for everyone:

“Flying in the face of a deceleration in sales out of eBay’s GSI Commerce yesterday, the NRF released its back-to-school survey with surprising results. We usually take many of the National Retail Federation’s surveys and statistics with a grain of salt, but this one is tough to ignore. Per its latest survey, 39.6% of consumers intend to shop online for back-to-school supplies and clothes. While that’s a big number in itself, it is nearly an 8% acceleration from the 31.7% ‘intent to purchase online’ surveyed exactly one year ago. The rate was 21.4% back in 2007. Translation – ecommerce is accelerating meaningfully.”

If the above chart is any indication of the things to come, e-commerce is clearly more important than ever.