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Online energizes holiday sales blitz

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WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers were very busy from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, with more than 174 million people having shopped in stores and online during the recent holiday weekend, beating the 164 million estimated shoppers from an earlier survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

The study found average spending per person over the five-day period was $335.47, with $250.78 — 75% — specifically going toward gifts. The biggest spenders were older Millennials (25 to 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 chief executive officer 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’ technology investments paid off, with consumers shopping on all platforms through the long weekend. The survey found that over 64 million shopped both online and in stores. In addition, over 58 million shopped only online, and over 51 million shopped only in stores. The multichannel shopper spent $82 more on average than the online-only shopper, and $49 more on average than those shoppers who only shopped in stores.

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% of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to make decisions, and 29% used their phones to make purchases.


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