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NRF-Thanksgiving-Weekend-Shopping-Intentions-Nov2013Thanksgiving is almost here, and everyone has something to say about the shopping climate – which will hopefully be better than the actual weather has been in some parts of the country. The research consensus appears to be that more consumers will be shopping on Thanksgiving Day, enthusiasm for Black Friday has waned from years past, and while it’s not technically part of the weekend, just for good measure, Cyber Monday will likely break some e-commerce records, per comScore. This article gathers a few relevant pieces of research discussing the coming holiday weekend.

  • According to the latest NRF survey, conducted during the first week of the month, about 31% of consumers will likely go shopping this Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday through Sunday), while another 31% are considering doing so. Over the 4-day period, Black Friday counts as the most popular among “yes” or “maybe” shoppers, with 69% saying they would shop then. Among the group of likely shoppers, 44% plan to shop the day after Black Friday (Small Business Saturday), while close to one-quarter plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, a number remarkably consistent with earlier surveys. Separately, asked where they will look for inspiration for their holiday gifts this year, respondents to the NRF survey most commonly pointed to online search (47.9%), closely followed by looking within a retail store (43.6%). Other popular sources of inspiration include friends and family (39.9%), advertising circulars (36%), TV (34.7%), and catalogs (33.7%).
  • The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) finds that 61% of US adults will shop during the Thanksgiving weekend, which is surprisingly consistent with the “yes” and “maybe” tally from the NRF. The CEA calls tech purchases “the new Thanksgiving weekend tradition,” so here’s what’s on the shopping list for the 31% planning to buy consumer electronics products this weekend: tablets (30%); laptops (29%); video game consoles (29%); and TVs (22%).
  • Some interesting data from DDB Worldwide suggests that while many Americans will be shopping this Thanksgiving weekend, it’s not their preferred time to shop. Instead, respondents prefer to do the majority of their shopping during the weeknights (28%) and weekdays (26%) between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Black Friday (17%), Cyber Monday (9%) and the Thanksgiving weekend (10%) are less popular times.
  • Why might Black Friday not be so popular? Consumer Reports says that 56% of consumers don’t intend to shop in a couple of days’ time, mostly because they want to avoid the crowds (70%). Other reasons for not shopping range from a belief that the deals are overhyped (34%) to preferring to do something else (33%), waiting to shop until after Black Friday (17%) and preferring to shop online (13%). Of course, 44% of respondents do plan to shop on Black Friday, and they’re compelled primarily by what they believe to be the best deals of the year (55%), the doorbuster deals (43%) and tradition (23%).
  • The discussion wouldn’t be complete without some mention of mobile devices, but luckily the IAB has that covered. Some 45% of parents with kids aged under 13 plan to shop this weekend, per the IAB [pdf], and 9 in 10 smartphone owners in that group will be using their devices to assist them in their purchases. How will Black Friday shoppers be using their smartphones to help them shop for their kids? A majority 55% will check the availability of items before they to to a store, while half will track sales at stores and research gift ideas. Some 47% will check for better prices while in a store (obligatory showrooming alert!), while 44% will use their devices to purchase gifts.
  • But wait there’s more… mobile shopping data. Luckily, a new study [pdf] from BiTE Interactive also includes some mention of Millennials, without which no marketing research would ever be whole. The survey finds that Hispanics (40%) and Millennials (18-24; 37%) are the “savviest” mobile shoppers, meaning that they will be the most likely to showroom this Black Friday. By comparison, 24% of respondents overall said they would likely be found showrooming this Black Friday.
  • As for Cyber Monday, ValueClick has released some research showing how it differed from regular shopping days last year. Apparently, while 1-3PM local time is the peak online shopping time on most weekdays, the heaviest transaction volume on Cyber Monday came during the 6:30-10:00PM period. That time period was also the peak for tablet transactions, with 43% of such transactions coming during that time bracket. On smartphones, though, there was a small peak in transactions between noon and 1PM.

Many more stats are available here at the holiday data hub.

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