Survey: Thanksgiving Sales Will Soon Eclipse Black Friday

Despite the shortest shopping season since 2002, Adobe predicts record growth for online sales on Thanksgiving with $1.1 billion and Black Friday with $1.6 billion, increases of 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Consumers are also expected to spend more than $2.27 billion online this Cyber Monday, up 15 percent year-over-year (YoY). With only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the data also shows that the late start could cost retailers $1.5 billion in potential sales.

The Adobe Digital Index 2013 Online Shopping Forecast for this year's holiday season is based on the analysis of nearly half a trillion visits to more than 2,000 retail websites over the last seven years. In addition, 72 percent of online sales from the top 500 U.S. retailers are generated by companies using Adobe Analytics, a key component of Adobe Marketing Cloud. The large market share made it possible for Adobe to successfully predict spending within 1 percent in 2012, one of the most accurate forecasts of its kind in the industry.

"Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will all enjoy record online sales," said Brad Rencher, senior vice president, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe. "Thanksgiving Day sales are projected to surpass $1 billion and could overtake Black Friday within the next five years. The growing importance of Thanksgiving Day, the shortened holiday season and the growing role of mobile and social will make 2013 a very different shopping season than ever before."

An Adobe survey done in conjunction with this year's Digital Index Online Shopping Forecast shows that consumers are motivated to shop online primarily by the search for good deals, followed closely by the allure of free shipping. The survey is based on input from 400 consumers who plan to spend at least some of their budget online this year. Survey results and additional predictions from the report include:
  • Mobile: Mobile optimized retailers will transact more than 20 percent of their sales via smartphones and tablets, a 47 percent increase YoY. The average retailer can expect only 14 percent of mobile-driven online revenue, a 40 percent increase YoY. Mobile devices will be leveraged even while consumers are in a retailer's physical store, with nearly four in 10 consumers reporting that they have shopped online while in a store.
  • Social Media: While Adobe is predicting that only 2 percent of purchases will come directly from social media sites including Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter, social continues to play a more significant role earlier in the purchasing journey. Thirty-six percent of consumers stated that they will turn to social media when making their purchase decision.
  • Spending: The majority of consumers expect to spend the same amount in 2013 as they did last year, but online shopping continues to take a bigger share. Consumers report being most likely to shop online for apparel and accessories, followed closely by books, music, videos, and toys and hobby items.
  • Showrooming: In store price checking, commonly referred to as showrooming, will become the norm. Thirty-five percent of 18-34 year olds already leverage mobile devices to compare prices while in stores, well above the 22 percent average.
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