The results are in, and it looks like Americans spent as much time shopping over the holiday weekend as they did eating. All in all, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday were each a big success this year. Only Black Friday saw a small dip from 2011 of about 2 percent. Yet most experts attribute this fall to the fact that many stores opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day, hence stealing the thunder from the first official shopping day of the year.
Which points to a growing trend over the last several years: shopping on Thanksgiving Day. More and more, retailers are giving customers incentive to shop earlier than the year previous, giving them both in-store and online deals to take advantage of while digesting their turkey and mashed potatoes. And it’s working. Experts estimate that nearly a third of all buyers did some online shopping on Thanksgiving Day.
Though Black Friday has long been a holiday shopping tradition, and Cyber Monday too has gained traction over the last half-decade or so, Small Business Saturday is still a relatively new concept. But while introduced only in 2010, it has already become an important stream of revenue for many small business ventures and entrepreneurs. In fact, a projected 5.5 billion dollars were spent on November 24, which may represent a growing backlash to shopping at larger corporate companies.
Yet no matter whether shoppers prefer big chain stores or small independent retailers, it looks that everyone can agree on how much fun it is to shop online. The most recent figures from yesterday’s Cyber Monday show an astounding 30 percent increase in sales from last year’s online bonanza, meaning that consumers spent nearly 2 billion dollars on Internet deals in a single day.
So the good news is that buyers are feeling confident about spending their money this holiday season, which bodes well for the U.S. economy as a whole. However, don’t get excited just yet that all those bags of goodies are for you. According to an NRF survey, approximately 8 in 10 people took advantage of all the great deals over the holiday weekend not for their loved ones, but for themselves.
What about you? Did you lay down your cash or credit card over the holiday weekend? And whom were you buying for?