Thanksgiving Day: First Came Stuffing, Then Came Shopping - eMarketer
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Thanksgiving Day: First Came Stuffing, Then Came Shopping

Gap (though still big) narrows between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday US online sales

December 5, 2014

There’s been a lot of talk of Black Friday, but what happened on Thanksgiving Thursday, Small Business Saturday and the other days of Thanksgiving weekend?

According to the National Retail Federation, of those who shopped on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, 75.2% planned to shop for Small Business Saturday.

The study also indicated that while 46.7% of US holiday shoppers claimed to have shopped online on Black Friday, 36.3% shopped on the internet on Saturday. More than one-quarter of shoppers logged in on Thanksgiving Day. And many wise shoppers went online on Wednesday night into Thanksgiving Thursday morning to snag some of the best discounts of the holiday season.

When shoppers did step foot in brick-and-mortar stores, more than half opted to shop at department stores. Just over one-third shopped or planned to shop at discount stores—46.2 million people—and 29.1% at electronics stores.

Thanksgiving Day may have taken a large chunk out of Black Friday’s totals as consumers shopped online after they supped at home and took advantage of retailers like Best Buy and Toys “R” Us opening their storefronts a day early. IBM, which tracked the results of 8,000 clients, reported that Black Friday online sales in the US were nearly 63.5% higher than Thanksgiving Day. That number was down from 2013, when it reached 70%, likely because there were more shoppers on Thanksgiving Day, eating into total Black Friday online sales. A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart told Internet Retailer that Wal-Mart raked in “more than 500 million page views” this past Thanksgiving Day, making it the company’s “second-highest online sales day ever behind Cyber Monday last year [2013].”

Early numbers from comScore also indicated that online sales on Thanksgiving Day topped $1 billion.

Black Friday garners a lot of media attention, but for shoppers worldwide, there are still several weeks left in the holiday season. And many retailers are responding to customer demands throughout the season—launching promotions early, providing steep discounts several times throughout the season, and offering free shipping, apps, customer service and other perks.

A survey conducted by Verizon Wireless in conjunction with KRC Research had predicted that more consumers (40% of respondents) would shop on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday (36%). The “2014 Holiday Smartphone Survey” polled 1,000 US consumers and found that those living in the West were the most likely to shop on Cyber Monday, beating out the Northeast (33%), South (36%), and Midwest (36%).

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