Which Shopping Days Will Be the Busiest of 2017 and Who is Shopping On Them

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Which Shopping Days Will Be the Busiest of 2017 and Who is Shopping On Them

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 09/27/2017

The holiday rush is coming. Knowing the predicted busiest shopping days of 2017 and when each generation is likely to start their holiday shopping can help retailers better plan marketing, staffing and inventory efforts.

To this end, ShopperTrak's list of the predicted busiest shopping days of 2017 is out and Black Friday, Nov. 24, is taking the top spot.

The ten busiest days are estimated to account for 40-45% of total shopping visits made during the entire 2017 holiday season, so it will be essential for brick-and-mortar retailers to have their staffing, inventory, marketing and merchandising efforts aligned.

For the first time in since 2012, there will be four Saturdays in December prior to Christmas Day, influencing shopper behavior. Physical retailers will need to pay close attention to the four Saturdays in December that lead up to Christmas Day, which will redistribute shopping visits and elevate the importance of December 23 (i.e., Super Saturday) and December 16, which are expected to be the second and third busiest shopping days, respectively.

December 30 did not rank among the top ten last year, but because it will be on a Saturday and represent a full shopping day before New Year’s Eve, retailers will need to remain stocked and staffed beyond December 26 in order to capitalize on shopper interest.

“The holiday season is prime time for in-store shopping, and this year is no different,” added Field. “In fact, because of the rising influence of online, it’s even more important that physical retailers differentiate themselves with knowledgeable associates, stocked shelves and smooth checkout lines to improve customer experiences rather than trying to cut corners in the name of cost savings.”

When it comes to targeting specific shoppers during the holiday season, now is the time to start with millennials, while consumers under the age of 21 wait to start their holiday shopping, according to a new study out by Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

In A Marketer's Guide to Reaching the Generations, Yes Lifecycle Marketing surveyed over 1,000 consumers of all ages and found that 60% of all consumers begin holiday shopping before Black Friday. When asked when they typically begin their holiday shopping, Centennials, or Gen Z, report that they start late in the holiday season. A third of Centennials (33%) say they start their shopping after Black Friday, with 15% admitting to waiting until after December 15.

By contrast, 30% of Millennials say they shop year-round for gifts – nearly twice as high as the percentage of Centennials who reported this behavior.

Generation X and Baby Boomers report doing the bulk of their shopping from September to November.

When asked about their habits on specific holiday shopping days (like Black Friday or Cyber Monday), Baby Boomers report the least interest in making purchases on these days. In contrast, Millennials report the highest frequency of shopping holiday purchases, followed closely by Centennials. In fact, Centennials and Millennials are more than twice as likely to make Black Friday purchases as Baby Boomers.

The study advises, "while Millennials don’t confine holiday shopping to the holiday season, don’t neglect Black Friday and Cyber Monday as Millennials are most likely to make a purchase during these events, even if it’s not specifically for the holidays."

Additionally, 45% of centennials shop in-store during the holidays, more than any other generation. This age group is also twice as likely as Generation X to refer to

mobile sites during the holidays (52%) and more likely than all generations to find social media influential during the holidays (26%).

"This juxtaposition indicates that Centennials are not loyal to one channel; instead, their holiday shopping habits are completely cross-channel," the study said.

The full ShopperTrak list of the predicted busiest shopping days of 2017 is as follows:

  1. Friday, Nov. 24
  2. Saturday, Dec. 23
  3. Saturday, Dec. 16
  4. Tuesday, Dec. 26
  5. Saturday, Nov. 25
  6. Friday, Dec. 22
  7. Saturday, Dec. 9
  8. Saturday, Dec. 2
  9. Saturday, Dec. 30
  10. Thursday, Dec. 21