Thanksgiving is just around the corner! We recently conducted research on holiday shopping habits for 2013 in order to gauge any differences between the new findings and our Black Friday research from 2012.

Macy's Black Friday

This year, many holiday shoppers will begin their Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day, with more and more retailers opening their doors on the day normally reserved for eating turkey, watching football, and oh yeah, giving thanks.  What else did we uncover?

  • 50% of holiday shoppers plan to shop online more during the 2013 holiday season compared to 2012. Half of holiday shoppers we surveyed plan to shop online more this holiday season compared to last year. Nearly the same amount (48%) said their online shopping habits will remain the same this year, while just two percent plan to shop online less.
  • Shoppers are most inclined to make an online purchase when they receive free shipping. Free shipping beats out all other incentives and discounts, including a percentage off and free returns.
  • Growing skepticism toward Black Friday bargains is a likely reason behind the rise in online holiday shopping. Among shoppers who do not plan to shop on Black Friday this year, half of them (50%) believe that the same deals will be available at a later date up from 42 percent in 2012. More specifically, 38 percent think the same deals are available online, up from 30 percent last year.
  • Forty-five percent of holiday shoppers plan to spend more this holiday season than in 2012. The good news for retailers is that holiday spending is on the rise, with 45 percent planning to spend more than last year. The number one reason cited by respondents is that their financial situation improved. Men and Millennials are most likely to spend more, indicating a potential correlation with an improving job market in 2013.  Just 12 percent plan to spend less than they did last year, and 43 percent plan to spend the same amount.
  • Fifty-two percent of Black Friday shoppers surveyed plan to shop before 3:00am. Shoppers looking for a bargain on Black Friday are more eager than ever to hit the stores.  Fifty-two percent of Black Friday shoppers plan to shop before 3:00am on Black Friday, with 26 percent shopping on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 believe stores should be closed on Thanksgiving Day, up from 60 percent in 2012. Even though 69 percent feel stores should be closed on Thanksgiving Day, 22 percent (in this same group) plan to still shop on Thanksgiving Day, indicating their strong desire for the best deals.
  • Social media tops email as the preferred way to receive Black Friday promotions. Black Friday shoppers also indicated that their preferred way to receive Black Friday promotions is through social media, beating out email, last year’s preferred method.

Will you be setting your alarm for an early morning on Black Friday or will you hold out for Cyber Monday? Tell us in the comments!

Note: the survey was conducted among 500 American adults, ages 18 and up, from November 8-11, 2013, in the United States.

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