More than 50 percent of Chicagoans will do the majority of their holiday shopping online this year, according to a survey from Accenture. The proportion of shoppers who said they plan to shop primarily at brick-and-mortar retailers stands at 35 percent.
Holiday purchases are no longer restricted to the weekend after Thanksgiving, reported The Chicago Tribune. Year-round online deals mean that Black Friday is becoming less significant to consumers.
“That weekend is changing,” said Ana Serafin Smith, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation, which was not involved in Accenture’s study. “In the past, Black Friday was officially the kickoff of the holiday season … We’re seeing now really Nov. 1 as the beginning of the holiday season, and it’s going all the way through Dec. 31.”
Shoppers are buying holiday gifts year-round, said the survey, which was performed in September and released Tuesday. Consumers are taking advantage of eCommerce promotions across the calendar year, like Amazon Prime Day, avoiding the crowds found in stores on Black Friday.
“We’re seeing really crazy promotions,” she said. “That’s the consumers controlling the shopping experience.”
The trend away from brick-and-mortar retail isn’t restricted to Chicago, found the survey. Nationwide respondents are also less likely to shop in stores on Black Friday.
Another survey, conducted annually by the National Retail Federation and published the week before Thanksgiving, witnessed the number of Americans shopping in stores drop from 42 percent in 2015 to 40 percent in 2016.
The survey also said that most shoppers don’t arrive for Black Friday promotions until 10 a.m.
Traditional retailers in Chicago are pursuing strategies to answer the eCommerce trend, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“Our retailers are pushing back and executing a variety of online strategies to still bring the person in,” said John Chikow, president and CEO of the Magnificent Mile Association. “If we’re doing the types of things we’re supposed to be doing that are going to fill the hotels, they’re there. They are a captive audience now.”