For consumers preparing for back-to-school season, smartphones play a number of important roles in the process from price-checking to photo references, according to a new study by AdColony.

AdColony’s first Back to School shopping survey reveals consumer sentiment in regards to purchasing decisions included buying for oneself. Data shows moms are more likely to go back-to-school shopping for their children than dads, at 62 versus 32 percent.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they prefer to shop both online and in-store, while 25 percent said they prefer to shop online. Seventy percent of these online shoppers turn to their smartphones, the study found. Mobile advertising is influential to consumers during this time. Just over half (53 percent) said they have purchased something on their mobile device directly from an ad. Seventy-five percent said they would purchase something on their mobile device directly from an ad if the product was relevant to them.

Even those that shop in-store use their phones, AdColony found, and the most popular reason (55 percent) is to compare prices. Shoppers also used their phones to receive special deals and promotions (47 percent), take a picture for reference (41 percent) and look up product reviews (40 percent).

Smartphones are also considered an essential school supply, respondents indicated. Nearly all (90 percent) are planning to buy a smartphone for students in middle school, high school or college. Even 20 percent were planning to buy one for their elementary school child.

The National Retail Foundation (NRF) predicts record-level spending of $80.7 billion for back-to-school in 2019, based on its annual consumer survey. College students planned to do 45 percent of their shopping online, and of all online shoppers, a majority are planning to take advantage of sales and free shipping.

The study was conducted via AdColony’s platform and compiles over 1,200 responses from North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Central and South America. Respondents were roughly 50/50 male vs. female with ages ranging from 14 to over 75.