Holiday buying declined slightly over the Thanksgiving weekend, but more consumers were shopping, according to the National Retail Federation. The trade group estimates that some 154 million U.S. consumers shopped over the holiday weekend, up 1.9 percent from 151 million last year, but the average shopper spent about $289.19 this year, down about 3.6 percent from $299.60 in 2015.
Retailers still have time to make up the lower per-shopper spending volume. Only about 9 percent of consumers have finished their holiday shopping, down from 11 percent for the same time last year, NRF research shows. “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,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the trade group.
It found that consumers ages 18 to 34—the millennials—helped fuel shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend, with 80 percent of them shopping online or inside physical stores. In fact, 62 percent of those shoppers went online to search for gifts, with 56 percent heading to stores, according to a survey of 4,330 consumers. For all shoppers, the survey found that 56 percent of smartphone owners and 53 percent of tablet owners used their devices to shop over the holiday weekend.
Black Friday again attracted more dollars online this year, with Adobe Digital reporting that e-commerce transactions hit $3.34 billion, a nearly 22 percent increase over last year and a new online record for that day. Now comes Cyber Monday—today, Nov. 28—when online merchants compete for shoppers via promotions and marketing events. The NRF predicts that 122 million U.S. consumers will shop online today, up from 121 million last year. About 23 percent of those shoppers will use their mobile devices to track down deals, or about 28 million consumers, nearly even with last year. At least 80 percent of shoppers, or 98.6 million, will use their computers at home, while about 9.1 percent, or 11.2 million, will shop from their work computers.
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