By Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_)
Despite drawing the furor of a small group of vocal consumers, shoppers couldn’t be disuaded from taking advantage of retail’s intrusion into the Thanksgiving Day holiday: Research indicates Thanksgiving sales were up 23.68 percent year-over-year, while Black Friday sales were up just 2.87 percent.
However, according to Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights at MasterCard Advisors, the most notable finding is not on which day Thanksgiving holiday consumers spent more, but at which stores they spent more.
Quinlan noted that both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shoppers have been found to spend 70 percent of their budgets at the first two retailers they visit. The fact illustrates how important it is for retailers to get consumers to line up early and often at their physical locations on major shopping locations, and what they have to lose should they fail.
While impressive, this is just one finding from the latest MasterCard SpendingPulse report released on December 4, which tracked consumers credit card, cash and check spending over the holiday weekend to reveal a host of new insights and data.
For more on Thanksgiving shopping and what the latest data reveals about the upcoming holiday season, read our full interview with Quinlan below.
PYMNTS.com: MasterCard has just released its SpendingPulse report which track sales across all forms of payments. To what do you attribute the triple-digit growth for the electronics category on Thanksgiving Day?
Sarah Quinlan: There has been an introduction of new consoles in the gaming space, and they’ve been heavily promoted by many retailers as a way to garner market share. So, in addition to the new game releases, the category has grabbed a large share of the consumers’ wallets.
PYMNTS.com: Your report shows a clear shift in consumer spending from Black Friday to Thanksgiving day this year. While thanksgiving sales were up 23.68 percent year-over-year, Black Friday sales were up only 2.87 percent. Is this a new trend? If yes, do you expect it to persist?
I believe that trend will continue as retailers compete to draw in customers early and often. However, it will be interesting to see if more consumers begin to favor online purchasing on Thanksgiving Day in the future.
Over the years, MasterCard Advisors’ research has reported on different kinds of holidays shopping statistics. In your opinion which ones of these statistics has been the most surprising?
Our insights show that 19.3 percent of all apparel sales today are done online. I believe consumer adoption of online shopping for apparel is major trend that stands out regardless of the holiday season.
What advice would you give to retailers hoping to replicate the success achieved on Thanksgiving on Christmas day?
It is important to reach out to your loyal customers and bring them closer. It is especially critical to do this across all channels so that it is at the consumer’s preference to decide at what time and within what channel they shop. Make it convenient for them.