NEW YORK, June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — PM Digital, the digital business of Paradysz, today released its 4th annual Back to School Trend Report revealing more than three of every five Back to School dollars are spent on college-bound students with online shoppers stealing 37% of this market as the online college segment spends over $1,100 per family. According to the study, which spotlights major retail brands from Amazon to Apple within retail, electronics and school supplies, paid and organic search is evolving in a more visual direction where Facebook still rules social media, but image-sharing apps are shaping the future of social in relation to consumer shopping.

Overall, the trend report reveals that mobile remains a strong vehicle for online shopping with the most searched item as school uniforms, while brands like Old Navy and Gap promoted personalization and the most purchased item was shoes with Footlocker getting the most clicks from school shoe terms, beating Amazon, Payless and Zappos. Additionally, the study highlights which retailers won the Back to School race as far as online search, social messaging and top advertising campaigns.

“We are not surprised to see the season accelerating. With such a challenging 1st quarter across retail and the BTS market being second only to Holiday for many retailers, it’s a chance to capture some additional demand growth,” said Chris Paradysz, co-founder and co-CEO of Paradysz and PM Digital.  Especially through mobile and social, there’s a chance for brands to really stand out and get consumers to take notice.”

Additional Highlights below:

  • Amazon rose to the position of #1 paid search advertiser in 2013, translating to Amazon getting the top share of clicks for generic backpack terms, and being neck-and-neck with Apple for clicks on computer, laptop and tablet terms.
  • Pinterest is launching paid Promoted Pins for top Back to School brands Target, Gap and Old Navy.
  • Hashtags like #stapleshasit and L.L.Bean’s #packmentality, which leapt from social media into display, email and print last season, will proliferate in 2014
  • Amazon was the top advertiser for seasonal phrases like “school shoes”
  • Stride Rite and Target teased with “BOGO” for School Shoes while Payless and Zappos play it “Cool” with its advertisements
  • Consumer spending is higher online than offline with 37.3% K-12 and 37.1% college students buying through e-commerce
  • Backpacks growing in popularity as the latest accessory must-have with L.L. Bean using #PackMentality as a social strategy for online contest

The Back to School Trend Report is one of many studies that Paradysz and PM Digital release annually, reviewing trends in digital and traditional marketing reflecting consumer shopping behaviors and marketing insights. For more information, please visit and

About Paradysz and PM Digital

With its direct and digital businesses, Paradysz and PM Digital’s core capabilities are based in a data-driven approach to understanding, targeting, acquiring, cultivating and optimizing customer value for its clients. Through comprehensive experience in multiple media channels, including search, social, display, email, direct mail, print and insert media, as well as strategic and creative web development capabilities, the company leverages proprietary research tools and an obsessive focus on performance to help clients make the most informed marketing decisions. With a client list that’s a “Who’s Who” of nonprofit and commercial organizations, Paradysz and PM Digital have continued to grow their reputation as some of the industry’s most critical thinkers and leaders.

For more information please visit, and