Retail

US Shoppers Want To Finish Their Holiday Shopping Sooner This Year

It looks like more U.S. shoppers want to be able to enjoy their turkey and pumpkin pie this holiday season without having to fret about finishing up their shopping.

More holiday shoppers don’t appear to be putting off purchases this year or waiting for big Black Friday deals or last-minute sales, according to new data. In a survey by Market Track, a Chicago-based market intelligence firm, almost a third of respondents said they planned to do most of their shopping before the calendar even hits November, and almost half of U.S. shoppers want to have the bulk of their holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving — meaning U.S. shoppers aren’t as interested or intrigued by potential Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals this year.

“Beating other retailers to the punch by taking demand out of the market early is nothing new,” Traci Gregorski, SVP of marketing at Market Track, said in a statement. “Look for early digital sales to kick off the season in earnest with compelling deals in October to entice consumers to shop early.”

Market Track surveyed 1,000 U.S. shoppers about their holiday shopping habits in August of this year, and 27 percent responded that they planned to do the bulk of their holiday shopping before November even starts, an 8 percent increase from the 2015 survey, while 49 percent said they planned to do the bulk of their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.

Of those surveyed, 22 percent said they planned to do most of their holiday shopping on Black Friday or Black Friday weekend, 6 percent said they planned to do so on Thanksgiving, 8 percent said they planned to do so on Cyber Monday and 15 percent said they planned to do most of their shopping after Cyber Monday this year.

For those shoppers who are planning to wait until after Thanksgiving, 52 percent said they planned to shop online during Black Friday, while 61 percent said they would shop online on Cyber Monday.

Although not all U.S. consumers will be shopping online this holiday season, many of them will still be significantly influenced through digital channels.

According to the survey, 66 percent of shoppers’ in-store purchases would be influenced by digital interactions this year, while 73 percent of shoppers said they planned to research prices online before heading to brick-and-mortar stores to make holiday purchases this year. Mobile will also be a big influencer this holiday season, as 43 percent of those surveyed said they planned to use their smartphone or tablet to check prices on items online while in brick-and-mortar stores.

“Mobile’s influence cannot be downplayed — mobile enables consumers to interact from the planning stage to the trip, while they are in the moment and post-purchase. Whether it is through price or stock status research, SMS offers or app-specific sales and alerts or people using their mobile phones to transact, mobile will play a significant role in influencing decisions throughout the purchase journey,” according to the survey.

Gregorski said that retailers will face “heightened competition” for last-minute holiday shoppers this season, particularly from online retailers who are expected to “significantly” discount online merchandise up to the Saturday before Christmas.

“Last year, we saw discounts on many hot holiday items at 40 percent below the Black Friday sale price toward the end of the season,” according to Gregorski.

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