The Campus Market Research series reported Monday that students are most likely to visit stores (online or in-person) if the price is right, or if a friend or family member recommends it.
The study, sponsored by the NACS Foundation, the research arm of the National Association of College Stores, sheds light on the online behaviors and attitudes of consumers between the ages of 18 and 24. Scott Giesler, executive director of the NACS, said the study provides critical information for retail and marketing executives.
"Retailers and marketing experts track college students' purchasing behavior because of their recognized position as influencers and predictors of mainstream consumer values," Giesler said in a release accompanying the survey.
Students reported spending just over $400 a year on clothing without college logos. When purchasing textbooks over the Internet, they're most likely to buy from an online store (74 percent). Thirty-one percent said they would buy from a bookstore's website, and only 5 percent said they would buy from a student-created site.
In June, the NACS reported that online sales reached $268 million on campuses in the 2003-2004 schoolyear. College students have a higher online penetration than any other demographic, according to Jupiter Research.
NACS is an Oberlin, Ohio-based trade association. It represents more than 3,200 collegiate retailers in the $11 billion collegiate retailing industry.