Survey: Despite Backlash, Thanksgiving Is Preferred Holiday Shopping Day

Survey: Despite Backlash, Thanksgiving Is Preferred Holiday Shopping Day

DETROIT (WWJ) - It’s not just Black Friday that draws the early birds. A recent survey says Thanksgiving is the preferred holiday shopping day.

RetailMeNot.com released the findings of its latest shoppers trend report, which shows that nearly two in five consumers (39%) plans to shop for gifts on Thanksgiving. Last year, a similar survey found that only 23% of consumers reported shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

Deal or No Deal!

The holiday shopping landscape is changing rapidly as retailers compete to win over consumers earlier and earlier. According to the survey, while the specific days that offer the greatest promotional activity may be changing, what remains the same is that the most common incentive for shoppers to choose one retailer over another is if they have a good deal or coupon (81%). Fewer respondents are motivated by a price-matching policy (52%), a loyalty program (46%), a variety of shipping or ordering options, such as in-store or online (46%) or a layaway program (23%).

Thanksgiving Kicks Off 5 Days of Savings

The survey shows that holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of $196 per person on gifts this year, which is up from $167 in 2013. Additionally, those shoppers expect to purchase gifts for an average of eight people this holiday season. Do the math and that could amount to $1,500 or more that consumers will shell out on holiday gifts.

So, which shopping day provides consumers with the most bang for their buck? RetailMeNot’s internal data shows that while the average percentage off on Thanksgiving and Black Friday in 2013 was comparable at 37%, consumers reported a higher average savings on Thanksgiving Day ($57 saved per purchase) versus Black Friday ($27 saved per purchase) during the 5 Days of Savings (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) in 2013.

Where There’s a Will (to Shop), There’s a Way

Of the consumers who say they typically shop on Thanksgiving Day, 71% shop online on a computer, 41% in-store and 28% online on a mobile device. Additionally, more than 1 in 4 (27%) of this year’s holiday shoppers intended to have their gift purchases completely finished by Black Friday, so many retailers have responded by extending their holiday hours and opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day.

• 33% of consumers feel that retailers being open on Thanksgiving Day gives those who have to work on Black Friday the opportunity to take advantage of great deals
• Close to 1 in 4 (22%) consumers feel that retailers being open on Thanksgiving Day gives people something fun to do on the holiday
• 20% think it allows people to get even better deals than on Black Friday

And it’s no longer just Black Friday that draws the early birds. According to the survey, 80% of Thanksgiving Day shoppers would wake up early on Thanksgiving morning to shop for a deal. Additionally, researching Black Friday deals has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition for more than one-third (36%) of consumers.

Proving that little can get in the way of deal seekers and their bounty, many people surveyed admit to shopping on a full stomach (46%), on very little sleep (36%) or even under the influence of alcohol (12%) to take advantage of pre-Black Friday sales.

Black Friday Traditionalists

While Thanksgiving Day is quickly gaining steam as a major shopping holiday, Black Friday remains a cornerstone of the holiday experience for many people. Over 1 in 5 (21%) Black Friday shoppers reported that they have never missed a year of taking advantage of deals on the day after Thanksgiving. More men than women (25% vs. 18%) have kept the tradition alive by never missing a year of shopping on this traditional day of savings.

Many people indicate they would do something mischievous in order to make it to the stores on Black Friday. In fact, 16 percent of Black Friday shoppers reported that they would be willing to leave family and friends to ensure they get to the Black Friday deals. Nearly 10% admit they’d break the speed limit (8%) or cut the line (8%) to get into a store.

People are die-hard in their dedication to deal-seeking. A substantial majority of Black Friday shoppers (93%) reported that they are willing to wake up early on Black Friday to shop, with 52% of these consumers planning to arrive before dawn (earlier than 6 a.m.). Close to 1 in 5 (18%) Black Friday shoppers would not walk away from a great Black Friday sale no matter how long the line was. On average, these consumers are willing to wait in line for two and a half hours for a great deal. However, over 1 in 10 (13%) Black Friday shoppers would pay for someone to stand in line for them on this day.

Black Friday isn’t just about the physical store experience. According to the survey, consumers attack this holiday from all angles, with a majority (56%) of Black Friday deal seekers shopping both online and in stores that day. Preparation is the key to success. Eighty percent of Black Friday shoppers would create a Black Friday plan prior to shopping, and on average they would do so eight days in advance.