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RetailMeNot: Back To School Shopping’s Newest Trend, the largest online coupon site in the United States, recently reported that the website’s retail activity and coupon use for back-to-school shopping surged this year, particularly for retailers selling apparel, books and school supplies. According to RetailMeNot, which measured coupon usage for the most active retail categories during the July 1 to Aug 20 selling period, the average daily coupon clicks increased more than 30% for stores selling apparel and shoes, as compared to the prior three months.

“This year, we helped more consumers than ever save on their back-to-school purchases.” said CEO and founder of WhaleShark Media, Inc., operator of, Cotter Cunningham. “We also connected thousands of online and offline retailers to the millions of customers who visited RetailMeNot seeking a great deal on the things they wanted to buy for the school year.”

RetailMeNot also released findings of a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, which revealed new shopping patterns among 1,000 parents purchasing for children under the age of 18 headed back to school or already back in the classroom. Most parents (59%) say they finish the bulk of back-to-school shopping by the end of summer, with 47% finishing in August, 8% done in July, 3% in June and 2% before the previous school year ends.

Retailers in the Northeast can hope for back-to-school sales continuing into September, as 45% of parents are likely to finish the bulk of their shopping then, as compared with those from the West (28%), Midwest (26%) and South (22%). About three in ten (28%) parents say that they are mostly done, but still have a few items left to buy by the start of school; 4% say they are nowhere near done.

Over half of all parents (52%) say that they often spend more on back-to-school purchases than what they budgeted. While over 83% of parents prefer to shop for back-to-school items in-store, just 8% prefer to shop online.