More than 165 million Americans shopped online or in stores during the period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, surpassing the 164 million estimate the National Retail Federation (NRF) provided before the shopping event.
In a press release, the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics said the average shopper spent $313.29 on gifts and other holiday items during the five-day shopping period. Of that, $217.37 or 60 percent was earmarked for gifts. Older millennials and Generation Xers spent the most, with their average purchase sizes coming in at $413.05.
“For several years, we’ve been talking about the dynamic nature of the retail industry and the speed of change necessary to meet the consumer demand,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the press release. “This year’s research clearly shows that the investments made by retailers are paying off in a big way. Over the last couple of days, what I heard in discussions with retail CEOs across all categories and segments was very positive, driven by macro conditions of low unemployment and rising wages combined with the right mix of merchandise at great prices. This is a very strong emotional start to the holiday season, and a positive indicator of where we are headed over the next month.”
Retailers’ investments in technology continued to pay off, with consumers shopping on all platforms throughout the weekend. The survey found that more than 89 million people shopped online and in stores, which is an increase of close to 40 percent compared to a year ago. What's more, NRF said the multichannel shopper outspent the single-channel shopper by up to $93 on average. Gen Zers and younger millennials were also in a shopping mood, but maybe not a giving one, with the survey showing those aged 18 to 24 spent an average of $149 on holiday purchases for themselves. Top purchases over the weekend included apparel, toys, books, video games, electronics and gift cards.
“This year, Gen Zers and millennials changed the way they shopped over Thanksgiving weekend,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in the same press release. “These younger shoppers have become savvier when it comes to their research by leveraging social media to find inspiration for their purchasing decisions, and used the holiday weekend to splurge on non-gift purchases for the season."