Retail Sales Data to Act on This Week

As customers roll out their sleeping bags and camp out in parking lots around the country looking to capitalize on Thanksgiving Week sales, data is pouring in about shopper behavior and buying patterns. Fast-moving retailers are digesting this information and making adjustments to maximize sales. RIS News has combed the reports and compiled a list of the salient findings. Here are key trends to follow.  
Potential for Lower Turnout. According to a Deloitte survey of consumers’ Thanksgiving Week shopping plans, fewer shoppers are planning to head to brick and mortar retailers over the long weekend. Among holiday weekend shoppers, 13% plan to shop in stores on Thanksgiving, down from 23% in last year’s survey. Fifty-three percent will shop in stores on Black Friday, down from 63% last year. Shoppers expect to spend $286 on average over the holiday weekend.
Male Shoppers are Critical. According to WSL, men may be the key to a successful holiday shopping season for retailers. Only 38% of men, compared to 54% of women, are planning on cutting back on holiday spending this year. How can you capture this important demographic? Make the shopping experience quick and easy — 32% of men are willing to pay a little more to shop in stores that they can get in and out of quickly.
Thanksgiving Day Shopping is Not for Everyone. Retailers are increasing their holiday hours every year, with many of the big players even opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Only 10% of the 4,600 customers polled in Visa’s “Holiday Commerce Report” said they plan on shopping on Thanksgiving Day. Of those that said they will not be shopping on Thanksgiving this year, 62% said they are opposed to shopping on the holiday.
Social Media’s Big Day. The best day for social media engagement for Black Friday deals is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving according to a Yesmail study of 50 major retailers. The research analyzed over 400 Black Friday campaigns on Facebook and Twitter from last year and found that while the Tuesday before Thanksgiving sees the best average social media engagement, the day before Thanksgiving is the worst day on Facebook. Thanksgiving is the worst day on Twitter.
Tablet Users Move the Needle. According to IBM’s “Online Shopping Data” from November 22 through November 24, smartphones were the mobile browsing device of choice, while tablets were the preferred device to actually make a purchase. Smartphone traffic accounted for 22% of all online shopping traffic compared to tablets’ 14%, but tablet purchases accounted for 13.4% of online sales compared to 5.14% for smartphones.
Low Shipping Costs Rule. In the battle for online dollars the retailer that comes out on top could very well offer the best shipping rates. According to a Forrester survey 50% of adult online shoppers in the US would considering buying from an online retailer that they had never bought from before if it offered the lowest shipping costs or free shipping, while 42% said the best deal offers would sway this decision.
Amazon Goes Low on Pricing. Amazon has made its bones on ease-of-use and competitive pricing. According the 360pi’s “Amazon Holiday Insight Report,” the online retail giant’s price advantage over the competition spans numerous categories. The report compared Amazon’s pricing to 13 other retailers in nine different categories and found that the competition’s prices were 16.2% higher on average. The two categories with the greatest disparity were printers (20.9%) and video games (20.6%).
For related content:
The Holiday Season Showdown: Competing for Customers
Thanksgiving Is the New Black (Friday)
M-Commerce: Win, Place or Fail to Show During Holiday 2013
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