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Survey: Black Friday, Cyber Monday lose luster with holiday shoppers

Black Friday may be less busy this holiday season.

The timing of when consumers will do their holiday shopping is shifting from years past.

According to a new survey from shopping rewards app Shopkick, 43% of surveyed consumers say they are planning to shop on Black Friday this year (an 18% decrease from 2021), and 27% plan to shop on Cyber Monday (a 40% year-over-year decrease).

However, the data indicates younger generations are more likely to take advantage of deal days, with 56% of Gen Z respondents and 50% of millennial respondents planning to shop on Black Friday, compared to 44% of Gen X and baby boomers, and 36% of the Silent Generation.

At the same time, 40% of respondents will begin holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, a 15% increase compared to 2021. Twenty-seven percent plan to get started before Halloween, an 18% increase from the prior year.

Almost all (98%) respondents say Amazon will be their primary online shopping destination.  Apart from Amazon, younger generations (43% Gen Z and 35% millennials) plan to shop at Etsy, while the Silent Generation will gravitate toward eBay (23%).

The majority of respondents will split their time online and in-store, with 71% reporting they will utilize both. Of respondents shopping in-store, 87% plan to purchase holiday gifts at big box stores, followed by off-price retailers (52%), department stores (47%), and club stores (39%). 

The survey also examined consumer holiday spending plans. Findings included:

  • More than six in 10 (63%) respondents say inflation and the looming recession have impacted the way they plan to shop for the coming holiday. To save money on holiday purchases, 49% plan to shop for deals and sales, 37% plan to limit the people they buy gifts for, and 36% plan to shop online more frequently to save on gas.
  • More than one-third (35%) of respondents plan to spend less on holiday shopping, as 65% feel less financially secure. Only 11% plan to spend more – 41% of whom are Gen Zers because they say they have more people to shop for (52%) and feel more financially secure (41%).
  • Respondents say that sales and promotions will influence them most when it comes to beginning holiday shopping (77%). They care most about shopping at retailers that offer discounts and sales (55%). Other priorities include one-stop shops that offer holiday gifts and everyday items, shopping on less busy days at less busy times (each 40%), shopping with retailers who are close to home, and visiting fewer stores to avoid crowds and save on gas, even if it means sacrificing certain items or not visit preferred stores (32%).

Additional notable results include:

  • Nine in 10 (91%) respondents say free shipping is the most important incentive for online seasonal shopping. Other online shopping incentives include fast shipping (59%), flexible and extended return policies (42%), “buy now, pay later” (19%), and BOPIS (15%).
  • In efforts to be more sustainable, 41% of respondents plan to shop at fewer stores to minimize gas emissions, 31% plan to bring their own shopping bags in-store, and 20% plan to reuse gift wrap from last year.

“As inflation continues to impact consumers’ budgets and fears around a potential recession linger, it is critical that brands provide value wherever possible because shoppers will be making trade-offs this year,” said Brittany Billings, executive VP of marketing and strategic markets at Shopkick. “Offering deals and savings early – both in-store and online – should be a top priority, especially now that consumers are gearing up to tackle their holiday shopping earlier this year.” 

Recent data from NetElixir indicates a potentially different trend for traditional holiday sales days. According to NetElixir, the following days during the holiday shopping season are forecast to experience the highest year-over-year increase in online sales volume (projected to exceed 20% year-over-year on each day): November 20, November 21, November 24 (Thanksgiving), November 25 (Black Friday), November 28 (Cyber Monday), December 4, December 5, December 11, December 12, and December 18 to 22.

Shopkick conducted this survey of over 14,400 U.S. consumers between Sep. 3-6, 2022. 

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