Although nearly 60% of holiday shoppers had already started checking off their shopping lists by Nov. 10, millions more are eagerly waiting to hear what retailers have in store – and online – for the biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year. According to NRF’s Preliminary Thanksgiving Weekend Survey, an estimated 135.8 million shoppers (59%) definitely will or may shop on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and/or Sunday, similar to the 61% who planned to last year and the more than the 55% of holiday shoppers who said they did shop in stores and online over the weekend in 2014.
NRF’s 2014 Thanksgiving Weekend results Survey found 133.7 million holiday shoppers were in stores and online over the holiday weekend.
“The importance of Thanksgiving weekend to both retailers and consumers will never change. However, retailers have already given consumers several good reasons to start their holiday shopping earlier,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “We suspect early holiday shoppers could still be on the fence about whether or not to try their hand at finding online and in-store deals Thanksgiving weekend.”
“To make it even easier on holiday shoppers this year, we expect retailers will offer exclusive savings each day of the big weekend, including Thanksgiving and Black Friday-only deals and even extended Cyber Monday promotions throughout the week that follows,” continued Shay. “But this weekend isn’t the end-all-be-all; it’s important to remember, there will be several important weekends to keep an eye on before we wrap up the holiday season.”
Of those who plan to or are anticipating they may shop online or in-store over the weekend, most will shop on Black Friday (74% vs. 68% from NRF’s preliminary survey in 2014), though 22% say they are eagerly anticipating retailers’ Thanksgiving Day deals, compared to 18% in NRF’s preliminary 2014 survey. Saturday is often overlooked because it’s sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the numbers speak for themselves: 49% of those surveyed say they will shop in stores and online on Saturday, up from the 43% in last year’s preliminary survey. One in five say they will or may shop on Sunday.
NRF also asked those Saturday shoppers if they would specifically shop for Small Business Saturday: the survey found 22% said they would, and 54% say maybe.
And for the first year NRF asked about plans to shop on Cyber Monday. According to the survey 80% – or a potential 183.8 million unique shoppers – said they would or may shop on Cyber Monday.
Millennials Are Ready to Shop
Millennials in particular seem to love Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday Shopping. According to the survey 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 77% of 25- to 34-year-olds said they definitely will or may shop online and in stores over the Thanksgiving weekend.
“Millennials love shopping in stores and online over Thanksgiving weekend for several reasons, including the opportunities afforded to them that allow them to splurge on ‘non-gifts’ for themselves and even the potential to sleep in on Black Friday after having spent the night before bouncing from store to store,” said Prosper’s principal analyst Pam Goodfellow. “For these adults, it’s less about making room for pumpkin pie and more about going out with friends, checking out the deals through their mobile phones and experiencing retailers’ night owl hours and perhaps making a dent in their shopping lists.”
“Given how shoppers of all ages gravitate towards digital and online shopping experiences, there’s a high likelihood online shopping will be bigger than ever over the holiday weekend and on Cyber Monday,” continued Goodfellow.
Although the entire weekend is seen as one big social experience, Black Friday is expected to be the biggest day for these age groups. Of those millennials who will or may shop over the holiday weekend, the survey found:
84% of 18- to 24-year-olds say they will shop on Black Friday
80% of 25- to 34-year-olds say they will shop on Black Friday
25% of 18- to 24-year-olds will or may shop on Thanksgiving Day
33% of 25- to 34-year-olds will make room for shopping after turkey and dessert
Shoppers aged 25 to 34 also seem to be more likely to specifically support Small Business Saturday: 35% of those who are planning to or may shop on Saturday will specifically shop to support small businesses over the weekend.
And when it comes to Cyber Monday:
89% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 91% of 25- to 34-year-olds say "yes" or "maybe" when asked if they will shop online on Cyber Monday.
[Image courtesy of Getty Images/KMM Productions]