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Deloitte study: Online and store retailers in a close race for Black Friday shoppers

NEW YORK, Nov. 24, 2016—More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans plan to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to a new survey from Deloitte. People surveyed plan to spend $400 between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, a slight uptick from last year’s intentions to spend $369.

Among survey respondents planning to shop over the upcoming holiday weekend:

  • Shoppers expect to spend more than half (51 percent) of their budget online and 46 percent in physical stores.
  • Online and in-store will draw nearly equal amounts of traffic, as 84 percent of respondents plan to shop in-store over the holiday weekend and 87 percent plan to do so online. The majority (71 percent) feel they find comparable deals online and in stores between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.
  • Nearly 8 in 10 (79 percent) plan to shop on Black Friday, either in stores or online. Deloitte’s survey found that 69 percent plan to head to stores and 55 percent intend to shop online on Black Friday.
  • Cyber Monday is gearing up to drive significant e-commerce sales, with 74 percent of respondents planning to shop online on Cyber Monday.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) plan to “webroom”—look at items online, then purchase in the store—and 44 percent will “showroom”—go to the store to look at an item, then buy it online.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) say they won’t be motivated to shop on Thanksgiving Day because it’s important to spend time with family and friends, and 67 percent disagree with stores being open on Thanksgiving. Roughly 1 in 5 (22 percent) people plan to shop in stores on Thanksgiving Day. 
  • Socializing is a primary motivator for spending time in retail stores, as 62 percent plan to shop in-store with family or friends over the weekend. 
  • Small businesses may have reason to celebrate over the weekend, as 42 percent of respondents plan to shop the Saturday after Thanksgiving in support of local business.
  • Four in 10 (40 percent) people surveyed say they haven’t started any of their holiday shopping yet. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of shoppers say they plan to spend more than they originally intended this holiday season.
  • Store traffic should remain fairly steady throughout the day on Black Friday, with a mix of early birds and more leisurely buyers. The midnight openings are expected to draw 14 percent of Black Friday shoppers, and about 1 in 5 Black Friday shoppers (19 percent) say they’ll head to the stores at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. The same number say they’ll start shopping in stores at 10 a.m. or later, and 16 percent haven’t even decided yet.

Holiday shopping often kicks in a little later during election years when the media is dominated by those ads rather than the early holiday promotional push,

said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and US Retail, Wholesale, and Distribution leader.

However, elections typically bear little impact on holiday spending, and this year should be no different. Consumer fundamentals are strong and retail sales have been healthy this fall.

Sides added, “The vast majority of shoppers indicate they’ll head both online and to the stores over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and nowadays, they really look at those experiences as one. While digital and physical tactics should work in concert, it’s critical that retailers’ digital influence fits specific purposes and shopping days this week. Before Thanksgiving, the experience should be informational and inspirational, to influence the consumer in the research phase. Black Friday requires nimble and feature-rich mobile formats while people browse reviews and compare information at the point of purchase. Cyber Monday is purely transactional, where features like prices, free shipping and online return policies move into focus.”

For additional findings, view Deloitte’s 2016 Pre-Thanksgiving survey results.

Deloitte retail professionals will be live-Tweeting from stores and malls across the country from Thanksgiving day through Cyber Monday, Nov. 24–28, 2016. Follow the conversation @DeloitteCB, #Holiday2016.

About the Survey
This survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company Nov. 8–13, 2016. It polled a national sample of more than 1,200 consumers and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus two percentage points.

About Deloitte’s Retail, Wholesale, and Distribution practice
Deloitte is a leading presence in the retail and distribution industry, providing audit, consulting, risk management, financial advisory, and tax services to more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500 retailers. With more than 2,400 professionals, Deloitte’s Retail, Wholesale, and Distribution practice provides insights, services, and approaches designed to assist retailers across all major sub-sectors including apparel, grocery, food and drug, wholesale and distribution, and online. For more information about Deloitte’s Retail, Wholesale, and Distribution sector, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/retail-distribution or follow @DeloitteCB on Twitter.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Media contacts:

Courtney Flaherty
Public Relations
Deloitte Services LP
+ 1 203 905 2708

Amy Dalkoff
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
+ 1 312 255 3078

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