Black Friday and shifting consumer attitudes

Posted by Rurik Bradbury on November 17, 2015

For retailers, Black Friday has traditionally been one of the most important shopping days of the year - inspiring popular stores to slash prices, open their doors early and increase their staff. However, in recent years a shift has started to occur as shoppers have been more likely to spread out their holiday shopping throughout the season, and retailers offering deals to drive consumers to stores after they finish their Thanksgiving dinner.

As online retail continues to grow and important consumer demographics like millennials demand a more digitally-aware experience from brands, we wondered whether consumer attitudes towards traditional retail events like Black Friday are shifting. With this in mind, we surveyed 1000 U.S. consumers about their participation in holiday shopping milestones like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We discovered that while people might be sick of the brash consumerism these days foster, many are still willing to participate in the hunt of a great deal.

Here’s what we found:

Consumers may be sick of Black Friday, but many are willing to do the work to get the deals

  • 61.3% of respondents said that they were sick of the media-generated consumerism of Black Friday, while 32.2% don’t participate in Black Friday at all.
  • The only motivation for people to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday are the great deals and discounts – 65% of the people surveyed strictly shop on these days for the deals, while nearly 26% want nothing to do with Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
  • Consumers do love a great deal – 70% of those surveyed about whether they would visit a store on Thanksgiving night to purchase holiday gifts would or could be inclined to – versus 30% who wouldn't.
  • Consumers won't let their work get in the way of doing their holiday shopping on Cyber Monday – 50% of those surveyed have either taken time off from work or have shopped during their lunch break – versus the other 50% who don't participate in Cyber Monday.

Millennials are much more avid Black Friday shoppers than older consumers

  • 49% of millennials love to shop on Black Friday, compared to only 35% of ages 35-54.
  • 29% of respondents ages 18-34 do over half of their holiday shopping on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, compared to only 21% of ages 35-54. 53% of millennials plan out their shopping in advance, compared to only 48% of 35-54
  • A whopping 44% are willing to wait on line overnight for something they really want, compared to only 23% among ages 35-54. 45% of millennials would definitely shop on Thanksgiving for a great deal, compared to only 33% of 35-54
  • 44.5% of people ages 18-34 shop during their lunch breaks on Cyber Monday, compared to only 35% of 35-54.

Consumers don’t need same-day shipping, but nearly half expect next day

  • Only 5% think it should be shipped on the same day while 43% think it should be shipped on Friday.
  • Roughly 15% believe it should be shipped either Saturday or Sunday – and 37% think Monday is an acceptable time to ship a Thanksgiving day purchase.

Finally, we had to explore the classic urban legend: Black Friday fights. We discovered that they actually do occur! When it comes to securing deals, consumers can be aggressive both verbally and physically. Over 31% of those surveyed have either been involved in or witnessed an in-store altercation on Black Friday. Out of those who admitted to being involved or witnessing an in-store altercation, 56.4% were men.

So, while certain aspects of holiday shopping may be shifting, the deals presented to consumers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to be a significant draw. Consumers will always grab for, and even fight over great deals, as every saved dollar counts in the holiday season.

Topics: statistics, e-commerce, Black Friday