Number of Americans who shopped over Thanksgiving weekend exceeds original expectations
From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the just-concluded holiday weekend, beating the 164 million estimated shoppers from an earlier survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics.
Average spending per person over the five-day period was $335.47, with $250.78 – 75 percent – specifically going toward gifts. The biggest spenders were older Millennials (25-34 years old) at $419.52.
“All the fundamentals were in place for consumers to take advantage of incredible deals and promotions retailers had to offer,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “From good weather across the country to low unemployment and strong consumer confidence, the climate was right, literally and figuratively, for consumers to tackle their holiday shopping lists online and in stores.”
Retailers’ investments technology paid off with consumers seamlessly shopping on all platforms through the long weekend. The survey found that over 64 million shopped both online or in stores. In addition, over 58 million shopped online only, and over 51 million shopped in stores only. The multichannel shopper spent $82 more on average than the online-only shopper, and $49 more on average than the in-store shopper.
The most popular day for in-store shopping was Black Friday, cited by 77 million consumers, followed by Small Business Saturday with 55 million consumers. The top two days that consumers shopped online were Cyber Monday with more than 81 million and Black Friday with more than 66 million. In addition, 63 percent of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to make holiday decisions, and 29 percent used their phones to make actual purchases.
“This year, consumers 65 and older proved that online shopping isn’t just for Generation Z and Millennials,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “However, younger consumers (those under 34) are still savvy when it comes to online shopping and leveraged their smartphones the most to browse for the best deals from some of their favorite retailers.”
The survey found that 11 percent of consumers shopped before 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, while another 11 percent started at 6 p.m. On Black Friday, 25 percent started at 10 a.m. or later.
On Cyber Monday, 49 percent of consumers started shopping early in the morning while 41 percent started in late morning, with 75 percent using their computers at home, 43 percent using a mobile device and 13 percent shopping on computers at work.
The survey showed that shoppers were in the mood to find great deals. Among those who spent, 60 percent said the majority of their purchases were driven primarily by sales, and 48 percent said deals were better than earlier this season.
Top shopping destinations included department stores (43 percent), online retailers (42 percent), electronic stores (32 percent), clothing and accessories stores (31 percent), and discount stores (also 31 percent). Some of the most popular gifts purchased included clothing or accessories (58 percent), toys (38 percent), books and other media (31 percent), electronics (30 percent) and gift cards (23 percent).
The survey, which asked 3,242 consumers about Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday shopping plans, was conducted November 25-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.
This year’s Thanksgiving weekend results do not include historical data from past years due to changes made to the survey methodology to help better understand consumers’ shopping experience and to include Cyber Monday in the calculations.