The Impact of the Holiday Weekend on Online Retail

By — 12.03.13

Thanks to six fewer shopping days this year, retailers started running their holiday promotions early, with some even opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Many of us watched the in-store mayhem unfold on TV. #Walmartfights became a trending topic on Twitter. While many Americans braved the stores to stock up on doorbuster deals, a growing segment of shoppers chose convenience over chaos and shopped online―many from their mobile devices.

Here’s a look at the weekend by the numbers:

Thanksgiving Day:

  • Online sales grew 19.7% on Thanksgiving Day (IBM)
  • Thanksgiving Day traffic grew 27% as nearly one-third of shoppers headed to stores on the holiday (NRF)

Black Friday:

  • Online spending increased 15 percent to a record $1.2 billion on Black Friday (Comscore)

Thanksgiving through Sunday:

  • In-store sales resulted in total purchases falling 2.9% to $57.4 billion (NRF)
  • Online sales were up 14.5% (IBM)
  • Four in ten people (or approximately 59 million) said they shopped online over the weekend (NRF)
  • Mobile traffic accounted about 40% of all online traffic, up more than 35% compared to the same period last year (IBM)
  • Tablets accounted for 15.7% of all online sales and smartphones accounted for 7.4% (IBM)
  • Tablet users spent an average of $127.73 per order, versus smartphone users  $111.43 per order (IBM)
  • Smartphones accounted for 25% percent of all online traffic compared to tablets at 15.2% (IBM)
  •  Apple Inc.’s iOS devices accounted for 19.3% of total online sales while Google Inc.’s Android accounted for 3.9% (IBM)

Cyber Monday:

  • Overall sales were up 21% on Cyber Monday compared with last year (IBM)
  • Mobile devices drove more than 17 percent of online purchases on Cyber Monday (IBM)

Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday:

  • Shoppers spent 3.9 percent less than last year — the first dip in spending since 2009. (NRF)
  • The average shopper spent $407.02 over the weekend (NRF)
  • 141 million people went shopping at least once during the holiday weekend (NRF)
  • Mobile commerce grew 80% over last year for the same time period (Adobe)

Online retail winners:

  • Amazon were up 44.3% YoY
  •  eBay sales were up 32.1% YoY
  • eBags.com sales were up 39% YoY

Although the Thanksgiving weekend continues to be profitable for retailers, we won’t see a major post-holiday sales slump as we did five years ago, rather consumers will continue to shop through Christmas Day. Consumers have become conditioned to wait longer for deals thanks to last minute promotions and an abundance of shipping options. This is only the beginning.


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