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NPD: Shoppers Spend Black Friday Online

Recent analysis from NPD’s Checkout, the company’s receipt-mining service, shows the average amount spent online per buyer between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday 2017 exceeded what was spent at brick-and-mortar stores on the same days by more than 20 percent.

According to NPD, in 2017, Cyber Monday fell behind Black Friday in terms of the average spend per buyer online but remained a critical day for e-commerce. Later in the season, as online shopping becomes less practical, consumers will return to the stores for those last-minute gifts. This year, shoppers will have more time to shop the weekend before Christmas with the holiday falling on a Tuesday.

Super Saturday (what retailers call the Saturday before Christmas) will once again be an important day for in-store activity. “The timing of the calendar plays a role in when and where consumers do the bulk of their holiday spending,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group.

“It’s up to retailers to make the most of the days on the calendar by delivering the promotional value, product offerings and shopping experience that the consumer desires.” The importance of each holiday shopping day differs when looking at specific industries. Black Friday was the most important day of 2017 for in-store apparel spending per buyer, while Thanksgiving was the dominant day for housewares and technology products. At the same time, only apparel saw any of the traditional holiday shopping days capture the same level of impact, with Black Friday accounting for the second-highest average e-commerce spend per buyer.

Footwear was the biggest anomaly, with each of the primary holiday shopping days falling outside of the top 10 for the industry in 2017. “Online shopping drives significant holiday spending over those peak days, particularly among the early birds,” says Cohen. “Some traditions remain, but more and more consumers are forgoing the Black Friday trip to the mall and doing their shopping online over more days.”

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