Black Friday has become less essential for holiday shopping

Written by By Candice Choi, CNN

The biggest shopping day of the year just wasn’t for everybody this past season, according to data released earlier this week.

Consumers, it turns out, mainly wanted to shop this past weekend, though a larger swath of Americans also sought out gifts in general on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Despite that, the National Retail Federation expects spending on Black Friday to be $123.4 billion this year, a 4.1% jump over the same day last year.

But the survey also showed that the number of consumers planning to shop on Black Friday dropped by about 2% from last year.

And consumers spent more to get that extra sale, too. The survey found that about 82% of respondents planned to buy an additional item or thing, vs. 79% of those who did last year.

“The one-two punch of layaway and online, like Groupon and others, has made Black Friday a less key shopping day,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

Black Friday has become a bigger part of the overall holiday shopping season. But there are also other opportunities for consumers to find the best deals.

For instance, some consumers were willing to bargain hunt on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving and traditionally the busiest day of the online shopping season.

More than 122 million consumers, or 64%, of those surveyed by the NRF said they shopped at least once on Cyber Monday last year.

That’s up from the 61% who said they were Cyber Monday shoppers in 2015.

Cyber Monday sales surged 15% to $3.45 billion last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

Last year, 67% of all online spending was on mobile devices, compared to 48% the year before.

Holiday shopping apps are also increasingly popular. And they’re helpful, as well.

More than 55% of consumers surveyed said they stayed up to 20 minutes longer than usual after Thanksgiving to comparison shop online, using apps like PriceGrabber and ShopSavvy. And in half of the cases, consumers bought something from the app.

Other apps have helped people find the best holiday deals earlier in the year. Some retailers like Best Buy even have their own “early bird specials” going on earlier in the week.

It also helped that some people spent more this holiday season on digital sales.

Shay said it was the first time digital spending surpassed $100 billion in the retail industry’s history, and that digital purchases accounted for 36% of all retail sales this holiday season.

The survey was conducted for the NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Leave a Comment