Reports Show Black Friday Shopping Moved to the Internet
Consumers were more inclined to shop online for Black Friday deals this year than they were to head to the store, according to a new report from the National Retail Federation. In fact, the entire Thanksgiving weekend was dominated by online shopping, indicating a major shift in the way America hunts for savings.
Preliminary data shows consumers spent a whopping $4.45 billion online last Thursday and Friday, boosting Black Friday sales by 14%. The NRF estimates that 103 million people shopped online during Thanksgiving weekend, compared to 102 million people who chose to shop in stores.
This shift is largely due to recent changes in the retail landscape. Many retailers chose to list their Black Friday deals as early as Thursday morning this year, giving people a chance to save from the comfort of their own homes. This also allowed shoppers to enjoy savings before items ever reached the shelves, eliminating the need to wade through hectic Black Friday crowds in an effort to save money.
Cyber Monday was once the premiere time to catch savings online, but this year, the entire weekend proved to be fruitful for bargain shoppers. While there are still a number of exclusive deals online for today, Cyber Monday, many of the savings have been already available for several days.
“It is clear that the age-old holiday tradition of heading out to stores with family and friends is now equally matched in the new tradition of looking online for holiday savings opportunities,” NRF President Matthew Shay told the Wall Street Journal.
Some retailers were concerned that the longer transactions times caused by using chip embedded credit cards might cause some problems with consumers this holiday season. The “dipping” of EMV cards to complete a transaction takes longer than swiping a traditional credit card, and retailers worried this may have a negative effect on holiday sales. Based on the statistics just released, it appears that shoppers were not so much discouraged by checkout times as they were drawn-in by the convenience of online shopping and pre-door-buster deals.