Black Friday Shopping Takes a Seat at the Thanksgiving Table - eMarketer

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Black Friday Shopping Takes a Seat at the Thanksgiving Table

The infamous in-store rush isn’t going away, but some shoppers are opting for digital shopping on Thanksgiving

November 22, 2016 | Retail & Ecommerce

How many shoppers will excuse themselves after Thanksgiving dinner to race off to big sales? Big box retailers expect a significant flow of foot traffic this year. But many consumers will already have begun their Black Friday shopping, without even leaving the table.

Reasons that US Internet Users Would Shop Digitally at the Thanksgiving Table, by Generation, Oct 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

October 2016 data from PayPal, conducted by Koski Research, looked at why US internet users would choose to shop digitally at the Thanksgiving table. Some respondents said they would shop this way because they didn’t want to socialize with people who were also in line with them. Fully 14% of respondents said they would want to avoid awkward or unwanted conversations.

For the most part, however, they want to get an amazing deal.

Not surprisingly, millennials were more likely than older respondents to say they would shop at the Thanksgiving table. Many of the older folks said they wanted a device-free Thanksgiving dinner. Roughly four in five of the young baby boomers surveyed said they were looking forward to that.

The willingness to shop at the table signals that after-dinner digital shopping will be a significant factor at the beginning of this year's holiday season.

US Internet Users Who Plan to Shop Digitally vs. In-Store During Thanksgiving Weekend*, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Deloitte found that nearly one in five US internet users plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, according to its November 2016 survey. That's considerably less than than three-quarters who said they intend to shop during the holiday weekend. Among shoppers who plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, there’s a fairly even mix of online and offline shopping. Indeed, 84% of respondents intend to shop in-store and 87% plan to shop online.

Those who are planning to shop digitally are probably not just doing so because of convenience. Perhaps they’re also looking to avoid the holiday crowds. The survey from PayPal and Koski Research found that two-thirds of Americans said they find crowds during the holiday season to be unpleasant. In fact, they said they'd rather do almost anything, including visiting their in-laws or going the DMV.

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