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Black Friday Shoppers Axe Spending and Seek Greater Deals

Consumers spent less and pursued deep discounts on this year’s biggest retail holiday.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, Black Friday shoppers spent an average of $289.19 over Thanksgiving weekend, which was slightly lower from $299.60 in 2015. More than 154 million consumers shopped from Friday to Sunday and utilized many Black Friday promotions.

“It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “In fact, over one third of shoppers said 100 percent of their purchases were on sale.”

While the weekend’s sales increased shopper turnout, many consumers favored e-tailers over brick-and-mortar stores for their gift purchases. Over the weekend, 44 percent of consumers shopped online meanwhile 40 percent of consumers visited stores.

Black Friday was the most popular online shopping day, with 74 percent of consumers visiting e-commerce platforms, followed by Saturday, where almost half (49 percent) of consumers bought presents online. Consumers also shopped in-store the most on Black Friday (75 percent) and Saturday (40 percent). Thanksgiving remained an unpopular retail day, with only 36 percent of consumers shopping online and only 35 percent of consumers shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.

Millennials also remained a catalyst for Black Friday shopping, with 56 percent shopping in-store and 62 percent shopping online over the weekend.

“Millennials are keeping retailers on their toes when it comes to Thanksgiving weekend shopping not just for their friends and family, but also themselves,” Prosper’s principal analyst Pam Goodfellow said. She added, “However, millennials are not the only ones taking advantage of great promotions, today’s consumers, across ages, are savvy about when and where they shop.”

With the intention of spending less, consumers actively searched for good deals over the weekend. Of those that shopped in-store, 50 percent said that the deals were irresistible and too good to pass up. Furthermore, clothing remained the top gifts purchased over the weekend, with 50 percent of consumers buying apparel items for loved ones and themselves.

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Although Thanksgiving weekend ended on a positive note for consumers, Shay advised that retailers should still modify their branding strategies and continue to offer consumers exclusive discounts.

“With mid-season shopping behind us, it’s not too late for retailers to tweak their online and in-store strategies to help increase traffic and see a big payoff during the last few weeks of the holiday season,” Shay said.

Black Friday may be over, but retailers still have the opportunity to attract consumers that are always on the hunt for good holiday bargains.