NRF: 174 million Americans went shopping Thanksgiving weekend

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 186 views 

More than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday this year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation and Proper Insight & Analytics.

About 96% of those people bought something. The average shopper spent $335.47 during the five-day period, and three-quarters of the money was spent on gifts, according to the report. Older millennials, ages 25 to 34, spent the most on average, at $419.52.

“All the fundamentals were in place for consumers to take advantage of incredible deals and promotions retailers had to offer,” Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO said in a press release. “From good weather across the country to low unemployment and strong consumer confidence, the climate was right, literally and figuratively, for consumers to tackle their holiday shopping lists online and in stores.”

Online and in-store shopping both were prevalent throughout the long weekend, according to NRF, which said it did not include data from previous years in its report because of a change in methodology for this year’s survey.

Consumers who shopped both online and in stores spent $49 more on average than those who shopped exclusively in stores and $82 more than those who shopped only online.

More than 64 million people shopped both online and in stores, while about 58 million shopped exclusively online, and 51 million shopped only in stores, according to NRF.

More than 81 million Americans shopped online on Cyber Monday and more than 66 million shopped online on Black Friday.

About 77 million people showed up for Black Friday, making it the most popular day for in-store shopping. Small Business Saturday saw about 55 million consumers.

Mobile shopping played a key role, according to the survey. About 63% of smartphone owners using mobile devices to help make purchasing decisions, and 29% used their phones to make purchases.

“This year, consumers 65 and older proved that online shopping isn’t just for generation Z and millennials,” Phil Rist, vice president of strategy at Prosper Insight, said in the press release. “However, younger consumers (those under 34) are still savvy when it comes to online shopping and leveraged their smartphones the most to browse for the best deals from some of their favorite retailers.

Department stores edged out exclusively online retailers as the most popular shopping destinations, with 43% of respondents visiting within the five-day period. Online retailers were visited by 42%, electronic stores by 32%, and clothing/accessories stores and discount each were visited by 31% of respondents.

Popular gift purchases were clothing or accessories (made by 58%), toys (38%), books and other media (31%), electronics (30%) and gift cards (23%), according to the survey.

In terms of the time of day people shopped over the holiday, the NRF survey found that 11% got started before 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and an additional 11% started at 6 p.m. On Black Friday, 75% of shoppers started before10 a.m.

On Cyber Monday, 49% of consumers started shopping early in the morning while 41% started in late morning, with 75% using their computers at home, 43% using a mobile device and 13% shopping on computers at work, according to the NRF.

Among the respondents who made purchases during the long weekend, 60% said their buys were driven primarily by sale prices. Close to half said deals were better than earlier in the season.

The survey looked at 3,242 consumers’ plans for Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday shopping. It was conducted Nov. 25-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7%, according to NRF.