Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday Frenzy or Cyber Monday Mania?

Shoppers are increasingly trading early morning ‘door-busting’ deals for the comfort of online shopping at home

By Sue O’Shea – Director, Integrated Insight

Are you a Black Friday Soldier, a Cyber Monday Surfer, or both?  If all the indicators are accurate, holiday shoppers seem, more and more, to prefer shopping for deals from the comfort of home rather than braving the early hours and frenzy of Black Friday. 

The internet has certainly transformed the shopping experience, and the long held post-Thanksgiving tradition of arriving at 4 a.m. for “door-busting” deals might be its next casualty.  Nielsen recently conducted research that indicated 85 percent of consumers plan on skipping the stores on Black Friday this year. Instead, nearly half of consumers (46%) stated that they will shop online on Cyber Monday, compared with 30 percent in 2012, a significant 16-point increase.  The research also stated that the percent of respondents planning to shop in physical stores this Black Friday is down 4 points from 2012. This is part of a four-year downward trend, where consumers report a declining interest in shopping the Friday after Thanksgiving.

ComScore reported that Americans spent $4.3 billion online from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday in 2012, with double-digit increases on every day compared with 2011. On Black Friday itself, online sales rose 28% while in-store sales dropped 1.8%. Clearly, consumers increasingly favor online deals over those in stores, especially since they can find the same items online at the same price and with free shipping.  Internet shopping also gives the consumer an easier way to comparison shop without having to drive all over town.

Despite the comfort and ease of internet shopping, there is a certain segment of shopper who thrives on the thrill of the chase and competitive shopping on Black Friday.  I bet some are camping out in front of Best Buy already, so the Black Friday tradition seems safe for now. These intrepid souls may be decreasing in numbers but they do make for a good story on a slow news day.

More power to them, but I will be at home clicking away with a cup of Christmas cheer!

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