165 million consumers shopped the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday according to the National Retail Federation who is calling the last five days a “very strong weekend.” The average shopper spent $313.29 on gifts and other holiday related items. Older Millennials and Gen Xers, 35 – 44 were the highest spenders, with an average of $413.05.
The total number of shoppers and the average spend it slightly down from last year when 174 million shoppers spent an average of $335.47. However, this slight downturn is not all bad news. Even though Thanksgiving weekend is over, consumers still have over half of their holiday shopping to do. 23 percent of consumers haven’t even started their holiday shopping, a three percent increase over last year. This year, more consumer took advantage of Thanksgiving weekend sales to splurge on themselves, leaving gift shopping for later in the holiday season. 44 percent of holiday purchases made by 18 – 24-year-olds were for themselves.
Multichannel Shopping Increased by 40%, Instagram Use Increased by 73%
Multichannel shopping is up by 40 percent this year; more than 89 million people shopped both in-store and online. Multichannel shoppers are also this year’s biggest spenders, averaging $93 more than single-channel shoppers. More shoppers, specifically Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, used social media over the holiday weekend. The percent of consumers using Instagram to find deals increased by 73 percent this year.
Black Friday Weekend Less Important for Overall Spend, Still Important as Emotional Start to Holiday Season
Overall, NRF predicts almost a five percent increase in holiday sales this year, with a greater percentage of sales happening outside of Thanksgiving weekend. In a press call, the organization stated that “holiday sales are starting earlier and continue until Christmas day. Black Friday remains a traditional and emotional start to the holiday season with families… while in terms of [holiday] spend, it’s happening over a longer period of time.”
The NRF press release states “with more shopping days before Christmas this year, consumers are taking their time to finalize their holiday gift purchases.” 92 percent of consumers believe that the deals they saw over Thanksgiving weekend will continue or get better over the holiday season leading up to Christmas.
Despite slightly lower numbers for Thanksgiving weekend, overall holiday sales will greatly surpass those of last year. So, retailers need to take the momentum and consumer interest they garnered over the holiday weekend and carry that through the rest of the holiday season with energy, excitement, and of course, holiday promotions. Consumers have more than half of their holiday shopping left to do, so buckle in for a busy four weeks. Visit Independent Retailer’s holiday headquarters for sales tips and promotional strategies.