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Between bites of turkey and bouts of cold weather during Thanksgiving weekend, a record 189.6 million shoppers perused store aisles and store websites, spending nearly $400 each. With the average purchase amount up 16% from 2018, this year’s holiday season is forecast to ring in up to $730.7 billion in sales! So, what are the key insights from the weekend that jumpstarted seasonal shopping? Continue reading to find out!

Black Friday Garners Digital Foot Traffic

From waiting in line to shopping online, the evolution of Black Friday has seamlessly transitioned to click and mortar, with a grand total of 93.2 million online shoppers! That’s 10 million more people than Cyber Monday brought in, a feat which hadn’t occurred since the online holiday’s 2005 inception. With the world’s largest shopping mall accessible at their fingertips, more than half of the shoppers that contributed to Black Friday’s $7.5 billion in online sales did so on a mobile device. While its online popularity gained stride, Black Friday remained the busiest day for in-store foot traffic, as well, with 84.2 million shoppers. As nostalgic as the resurrection of the Motorola RAZR and the release of Disney+, a survey by the National Retail Federation found that more than 80% of consumers ages 18-34 were likely to shop in store over Thanksgiving weekend, because they enjoyed the social aspect of it.

Cyber Monday Dominates Dollars Spent

Black Friday may have garnered more online window shoppers and buyers, but Cyber Monday reigns supreme when it comes to actual spending. This year, a record $9.4 billion was spent on Cyber Monday, marking the biggest US online shopping day of all-time. The top five items that buyers tossed into their virtual carts this year included Samsung TVs, VR Devices, Nintendo Switches, Frozen 2 Toys and L.O.L. Surprise Dolls.

Late night shoppers contributed a 2.9-billion-dollar boost in sales, between the hours of 10pm and 2am, as visions of missed sales danced in their heads. With the FOMO, or fear of missing out, on a good deal as one factor drawing shoppers online, free shipping hooked them into making purchases that they were otherwise hesitant about, the National Retail Federation finds. BOPIS, or the option to buy online and pickup in store, was another deciding factor in making a purchase.

BOPIS Adds Additional Sales Opportunities

Offering the convenience of Cyber Monday and the communal experience of in-store Black Friday shopping, retailers that offer the option to buy online and pickup in-store experienced at least a 40% rise in click-and-collect orders during the holiday shopping weekend. These savvy shoppers were able to enjoy the thrill of scoring doorbuster deals alongside others, while guaranteeing that the items on their holiday shopping lists were waiting for them at checkout. Of course, enticing front-entrance displays and advertisements inspired spur-of-the-moment sales, with 82% of BOPIS patrons purchasing additional items in store, according to Adobe Analytics.

The other benefit to BOPIS? Avoiding potential shipping delays. With this year’s record-volume online sales and poor weather, many expectant shoppers came home to package-less doorsteps as the United States Postal Service, the United Parcel Service and Amazon battled storms. The only storm BOPIS shoppers had to venture through was the parking lot!

Measured, Not Manic, Spending Proves Valuable

Illustrated by the rise of in-store pickup orders, consumers increasingly took advantage of the opportunity to make calculated—rather than crazed—purchases. Picking up on the measured spending habits of today’s more mindful consumers, certain brands took a route less traveled when creating their holiday marketing campaigns. Retailer REI closed all of its stores on Black Friday, for the fourth year in a row, to allow workers to enjoy time outdoors and with family as part of its #OptOutside campaign. Supporting its mission to protect the environment, retailer Patagonia offered consumers the chance to save money on their brand gear and save the environment. Through the end of December, it will match any donation made to local causes through its Patagonia Action Works organization.

Shoppers may have six fewer days to check items off their holiday gift lists this year, but that didn’t stop them from shopping smarter at the start of the season. From browsing the web on Black Friday to taking advantage of in-store pickup options, consumers grabbed gifts for their family, gifts for themselves and found time to donate to causes close their hearts.

Did your holiday sales match these trends? If you’re assessing your end-of-year sales and finding they didn’t meet your goals, we may be able to help! Take a look at our retail marketing capabilities and contact us today.

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