Online Spending Changing the Face of Thanksgiving Shopping Weekend

Dec. 1, 2014

Online Spending Changing the Face of Thanksgiving Shopping Weekend As Black Friday data begin to come in on this Cyber Monday in the U.S., it appears online shopping continues to take an ever larger bite out of the traditional kickoff to the holiday retail season. Retailers posted more than $1 billion in online sales on Thanksgiving Day ($1.01 billion) and Black Friday ($1.51 billion), according to Reston, Va.-based digital measurement company comScore. The Thursday numbers marked a 32 percent increase over the same day in 2013 and Black Friday’s sales grew 26 percent compared to last year. Overall, comScore said online spending for the month of November is up 15 percent from last year to $22.7 billion.

“Thanksgiving and Black Friday both saw exceptionally strong online growth rates as each day surpassed $1 billion in desktop spending,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman emeritus of comScore. “The strength we saw in the early online buying rush likely reflects a few things, including overall health in consumer spending, responsiveness to the strong deals being offered online, and perhaps some shoppers opting to stay home on Thanksgiving rather than head out to the stores that opened their doors early.”

According to the National Retail Federation, online shopping is one of the factors that is leading to a shift in the way consumers are looking at Black Friday and holiday shopping in general.

“A strengthening economy that changes consumers’ reliance on deep discounts, a highly competitive environment, early promotions and the ability to shop 24/7 online all contributed to the shift witnessed this weekend,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We are excited to be witnessing an evolutionary change in holiday shopping by both consumers and retailers, and expect this to trend to continue in the years ahead.”

The NRF said early online promotions before the big weekend may have affected holiday weekend totals. According to the NRF survey, the average person who shopped over the weekend spent $159.55 online, approximately 41.9 percent of their total average budget, down 10.2 percent from $177.67 last year.