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August 31 , 2010

Targeting college students for back to school

Understanding their online search habits

According to the NRF’s 2010 Back to College Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, the average college student’s family will spend $616.13 on new apparel, furniture for dorms or apartments, school supplies and electronics, down slightly from $618.12 last year. Electronics represent the largest share of spending with the average family predicted to spend $236.94 on computers, cell phones, MP3 players, cameras and other electronics.

In some cases, the parents might be paying for the new gadgets and electronics, but the students are probably going online to research which products they want most before anyone pulls the wallet out. To understand which Appliances and Electronics websites were visited by 18-24 year olds over the past 4 weeks, we used the new ‘Rank by Audience’ tool within Hitwise that allows us to segment a category of websites by demographic targets such as age, gender, income and others. Among the Top 10 retailers in the Appliances and Electronics category ranked by visitors aged 18 – 24, Best Buy, T-Mobile’s Online Store, and TigerDirect.com captured the highest share of visits. However, within those Top 10 retailers, visitors aged 18-24 were more likely to visit Sony Style than the overall online population.


For retail advertisers looking to reach the 18-24 demographic during the Back to School season, identifying the websites visited within the Entertainment – Multimedia category can provide opportunities on destinations where 18-24 year olds visit to view online videos. Not surprisingly, YouTube captured the largest share of 18-24 year olds among Multimedia websites for the 4 weeks ending August 7, 2010. Among the Top 10 Multimedia websites (filtered by those that display advertising) ranked by share of visits, OVGuide, Crackle, MySpaceTV, and MetaCafe indexed higher for 18-24 year olds compared to the Internet population overall, providing a smaller, but highly targeted audience.



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