Back-to-school spending is an important gauge of pending holiday sales for retailers.
(NBC News) Retailers are keeping a watchful eye on your back to school shopping.
It's not only how much consumers are spending, but how they are spending it that's important.
Experts say it's an early barometer for how the holiday season may go as well.
"This really sets the tone for the year, I think, for the shopper," says Joe Welter, a retail analyst for Deloitte consulting.
They recently surveyed consumer to find out about shopping habits.
It turns out online shopping and traditional shopping are blurring together as stores respond to consumer demands.
"People have actually expressed a preference for stores with flexibility with shopping on line, picking up at the store, shopping at that store or having it sent to them at home," Welter says.
Store branding is also extending to social media and website experiences.
"Their web site has got to look great," Welter explains. "It's got to be extremely functional, easy to navigate. It has to be consistent with their store. It all has to bring together the same sort of brand, the same sort of image."
It's all to make sure you are shopping where your friends are, buying what they like, and returning to your favorite places.