As consumers increasingly turn to online shopping, the shift of the holiday focus continues to move from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. A new Nielsen survey asked consumers about their plans for both days, the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping season, finding that 82 percent of consumers do not plan on shopping on Black Friday this year, a number that is consistent with levels in 2011 (82%) and 2010 (80%).
Of the consumers surveyed, 17 percent said they were planning on shopping on Black Friday and those shopping said that they would be spending close to 50 percent of their total holiday shopping budget on Black Friday.
“Black Friday is increasingly more of a shopping event than bellwether gauge for the season; however, for those 17 percent that are out shopping, it is a major share of their total seasonal spending,” said James Russo, VP, global consumer insights at Nielsen. “Overall, most households plan to spend between $250 and $500 over the entire holiday season,compared to 32 percent who plan on spending $100 to $250 on Black Friday alone. Although 70 percent say they are going to be spending the same amount as 2011, higher consumer confidence levels, increased impulse buying and consumer intent to spend more could all lead to an upside surprise in the 2012 holiday season.”
Unlike the overall holiday shopping season, where the retail battleground includes virtually all formats, Black Friday shoppers say they will do the majority of their shopping across five retail channels – Department Stores (68%), Discounters (51%), Consumer Electronic Stores (50%), Online Sellers (39%), and Toy Stores (38%). And what are consumers planning on purchasing?
“As you would expect, higher-ticket items, such as consumer electronics, video games, toys and apparel, are the leaders in terms of what consumers plan on buying,” said Russo. “However, gift cards, cookware, jewellery, pet supplies and sporting goods are also on that list.”
More consumers report that they will shop on Cyber Monday this year than Black Friday, with 30 percent of consumers stating they will be shopping online this Cyber Monday.
When consumers do go online, their preferred source of information for Cyber Monday sales are retailer websites, with 63 percent of consumers using them for research. Highlighting the convergence of traditional and new media, 40 percent of consumers reported using newspapers and circulars for Cyber Monday sales information, and 40 percent said they rely on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
“Just as consumers are converging their use of traditional and new media, so do we see a convergence of traditional Black Friday with the new Cyber Monday .This is not an either/or decision for marketers, but rather a collaborative strategy to reach an increasingly engaged consumer,” said Russo.