Online Shopping to Soar Around Black Friday

Customers are increasingly shopping online, and Black Friday is no exception.

Instead of hitting brick-and-mortar stores this year, many customers will participate in Black Friday shopping from the comfort of their own couch.

Analysis from NPD’s Checkout, a receipt mining service, shows the average amount spent online per buyer on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday 2017 exceeded what was spent at brick-and-mortar stores on the same days by more than 20%.

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“Online shopping drives significant holiday spending over those peak days, particularly among the early birds,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “Some traditions remain, but more and more consumers are forgoing the Black Friday trip to the mall and doing their shopping online over more days.”

Last year, Cyber Monday fell behind Black Friday in terms of the average spend per buyer online, but remains a critical day for e-commerce. Later in the season, as online shopping becomes less practical, consumers will return to the stores for those last-minute gifts. There will be more time to shop the weekend before Christmas this year with the holiday falling on a Tuesday. This means Super Saturday will be back to claim its distinction as a key day for in-store activity.

“The timing of the calendar plays a role in when and where consumers do the bulk of their holiday spending,” added Cohen. “It’s up to retailers to make the most of the days on the calendar by delivering the promotional value, product offerings, and shopping experience that the consumer desires.”

The importance of each holiday shopping day differs when looking at specific industries. Black Friday was the most important day of 2017 for in-store apparel spending per buyer, while Thanksgiving was the dominant day for housewares and technology products. At the same time, only apparel saw any of the traditional holiday shopping days capture the same level of impact with Black Friday accounting for the second highest average e-commerce spend per buyer. Footwear was the biggest outlier, with each of the primary holiday shopping days falling outside of the top 10 for the industry in 2017.

Checkout delivers the most comprehensive view of consumer purchase behavior for general merchandise categories, across all retailers over time, to help you understand how to adjust your marketing to fuel growth. Checkout E-commerce offers the most complete and accurate view of the online channel – 600+ e-commerce retailers including Amazon, Walmart, top industry specific retailers, direct-to-consumer and emerging players. Information is collected from more than 3 million consumers, through data provided by our partner Rakuten Intelligence and NPD’s own proprietary receipt-harvesting mobile phone app.