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The weekend consumers (and retailers) everywhere have been counting down to is finally upon us. Shoppers have been gearing up for this holiday weekend for over a month. Research on Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal sites began to rise in early October and exploded earlier this month. These sites have been utilized by more than half of the consumers who plan to go shopping this weekend, according to the Fall 2012 Compete Online Shopper Intelligence Survey™. Retail websites and online store circulars are also very popular resources, used by more than 40-percent of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers.
The survey results also reveal that Black Friday may outperform Cyber Monday this year. Thirty-nine percent of consumers will go shopping on Black Friday, up slightly from 37-percent in 2011. On the other hand, 39-percent of consumers plan to shop on Cyber Monday, down from 45-percent last year. A similar trend can be seen in anticipated spend. Consumers expect to spend $365 this Friday, up $26 from last year, but only $222 dollars on Monday, down $16 from 2011.
Given this trend, it is not surprising that Black Friday shopping will outpace Cyber Monday shopping in almost all product categories. Electronics, clothing, and movies and games are the categories with the largest disparity. Again, this is not expected, as all three of these categories are quintessential Black Friday products that stores depend on to get consumers in the doors at the crack of dawn.
So what does this mean for online retailers? Are people losing interest in Cyber Monday in favor of the excitement and mayhem that is Black Friday? Or maybe online merchants are the ones driving this trend. Some of the largest online retailers have been offering Black Friday prices all week (like Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Week), eliminating the need to wait until Cyber Monday to snag great deals. Over the next few years, I think we will continue to see a trend of offered deals during the entire week of Thanksgiving that then culminate in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday extravaganza. Any way you slice it, deals will be had this weekend so good luck and happy hunting.
Debra Miller Arbesman is senior associate, retailer and consumer products at Compete, a Kantar Media company that helps brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers.