Thanksgiving weekend shoppers head online: NRF
For the first time this Thanksgiving weekend, the number of online Black Friday shoppers passed the 100 million mark, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
The growth in online activity represented a jump of 8 percent over last year, while the number of online Saturday shoppers grew even more, jumping by 17 percent compared with last year.
Online-only shoppers increased by 44 percent for the entire weekend, for a total of 95.7 million.
Meanwhile, as expected, in-store shopping was down, given both the state of the pandemic as well as the number of retailers who opted to close on Thanksgiving Day. The number of in-store shoppers on Thanksgiving Day dropped by 55 percent from last year and those on Black Friday dropped by 37 percent.
The overall number of shoppers from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday dropped slightly from 189.6 million to 186.4 million, though the figure is still significantly higher than the 165.8 million shoppers seen in 2018.
“As expected, consumers have embraced an earlier start to the holiday shopping season, but many were also prepared to embrace a long-standing tradition of turning out online and in stores over Thanksgiving weekend to make gift purchases for family and friends,” said NRF president and CEO, Matthew Shay.
“Retailers have been planning for the season by ensuring that their stores are safe, their associates are trained, the inventory is stocked and the online experience is seamless. Many things have changed since the onset of the pandemic, but the commitment by retailers to meet the consumer where, when and how they shop at the prices they want to pay never changes.”
More than half of holiday shoppers surveyed said they took advantage of early holiday sales and promotions this year, including 38 percent of which who checked off holiday purchases in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
Over the five-day period, shoppers spent an average of $311.75 on holiday-related purchases such as gifts or decorations, down from last year’s total of $361.90 but comparable to 2018’s $313.29. Of that amount, nearly three-quarters ($224.48) was spent directly on gifts.
Meanwhile, survey respondents said they still have about half of their shopping left to do and 91 percent expect they will continue to see great deals throughout the rest of the season.
NRF predicts that this holiday season - November 1 through December 31 - sales will increase between 3.6 percent and 5.2 percent over 2019 to reach a total between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion.
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