Gift Cards, E-Commerce Drive Holiday Shopping
U.S. shoppers flocked to physical and online stores during the Thanksgiving weekend, with more than 151 million Americans shopping in-store and/or online, based on data from the National Retail Federation (NRF). That number was up from 133.7 million last year, though the NRF said data from this year’s Thanksgiving Weekend Survey are not comparable to last year’s poll because of changes in methodology. Average spending per shopper was $299.60, and gift cards were especially popular, comprising a whopping 76.6 percent ($229.56) of that average total.
Consumers under 35 were significantly more likely to have shopped over the weekend than older shoppers. 53.8 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 62.2 percent of those aged 25 to 34 reported shopping in stores over the weekend, compared to 41.6 percent of those 35 and over. Further, 57 percent of both younger demographics shopped online, compared to just 42 percent of respondents 35 and over. The mobile channel was a key driver of both online and brick-and-mortar shopping, with 56.7 percent of smartphone owners and 57.7 percent of tablet owners reporting using their device to make purchases, research products or check in-store availability, among other mobile shopping activities, according to the survey.
The weekend shopping rush wasn’t contained to the U.S. Consumers in the U.K. were projected to spend £1.9 billion (US$2.9 billion) on Visa-branded payment cards on Black Friday, Visa Europe said. That total would be a record for the day after Thanksgiving, which has become an increasingly popular shopping time for Brits. The growth is expected to be driven largely by an upswing in e-commerce, with online buying volume estimated to reach £721 million (US$1.1 billion), up 17 percent from 2014, Visa Europe said.
The shopping frenzy is expected to continue today, with Cyber Monday deals projected to drive 121 million U.S. consumers to shop online, according to the NRF. “Unlike 10 years ago, we live in a world in which you can shop anywhere at any time,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO, NRF. “It’s no longer about one day, but a season of digital deals.”