Back to school supplies
Back To School Sale, pictured July 28, 2003 at a Wal-Mart store in Illinois, parents on average spend $501 on school supplies nationwide. Getty Images

Deloitte, a worldwide professional services firm, conducted a survey on the expectations of 2017's back to school shopping season alongside previous spending habits. Average school supply spending per house hold increased to $501 nationally, which is a small leap from $488 in 2016.

The survey shows surprising turns, which could impact how parents will shop heading into the 2017-2018 academic year. Deloitte has produced this survey for ten years, with each edition shedding light on a new perspective. This year's survey highlights a shift in school supplies lists, showing a decrease in the need for both traditional and technology-based supplies, with spending being allocated to other necessities.

Read: Back To School 2017: 9 Shopping Sales And Deals You Need To Know

Rob Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP, explained that the transition comes from a decreased need for supplies because schools have increasingly become more tech-driven, which allowed parents to designate further spending towards clothing instead.

"With today’s technology-based education system there is less need for traditional school supplies, likely contributing to the shift toward more spending on clothing and accessories before children head back to school," Sides said, according to Deloitte's website. "Part of this shift may also come from the popularity of pre-configured school supply kits, which 30 percent of families plan to use."

Average spending is expected to increase by 10 percent, raking in $284 per household. Traditional school supplies fall by 4 percent ($104), computers decrease by 4 percent ($307) and electronics are expected to take the smallest hit at 2 percent ($254).

With increased spending making waves amongst online retailers, in-store shopping remains the reigning champ, reeling in more than twice the revenue of online platforms at an average of $288 in-store vs. $103 online. However, consumers are shifting where they allocate their money to, seeing an increase in spending with mass merchants and office venues instead of department stores and specialty shops.

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Spending is expected to differ regionally, with the South accruing 44 percent of the sales ($554). The Northeast ($513), West ($455) and Midwest ($443) will reportedly follow shortly behind.

The internet is commonly used to plan 61 percent of shopper's in-store purchases, but one-fifth are "undecided," which means they could potentially shop for supplies online or in-store. Sides claims this is a crucial market to recruit because it's a $5.4 billion market.

"Retailers should aggressively pursue the 'undecided' consumer because they collectively represent nearly $5.4 billion this back-to-school shopping season," Sides said. "This segment is up for grabs but likely to go to retailers that draw customers in early with promotions and digital experiences that make store visits even more attractive."

Since 68 percent of survey participants claimed they plan to purchase supplies from retailers providing free shipping, online retailers could tap into the undecided market this way by combining great deals, too. Fifty-two percent of online shoppers also prefer to purchase supplies from stores that offer in-store return options.

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