Online Shopping to Increase Over Thanksgiving Weekend, Deloitte Says

Fifty-seven percent of holiday shoppers intend to shop over Thanksgiving weekend, according to a new survey commissioned by retailer advisory firm Deloitte. Conducted online by an independent research company from Nov. 16 to Nov. 17, 2015, the study polled a national sample of 1,000 consumers and found that shoppers plan to spend $369 between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, nearly a 25 percent increase from the results of Deloitte's survey last year. The study also found that digital channels will continue to have a significant influence on the shopping experience.

Those who intend to shop over Thanksgiving weekend anticipate that 59 percent of their spending will be done online, an increase from the 52 percent reported last year, while 36 percent of those who intend to shop over Thanksgiving weekend expect their spending to be in stores, a decrease from the 45 percent reported last year. Furthermore, 44 percent of respondents reported that they plan on shopping in-store specifically on Black Friday, a decrease from 63 percent in 2012, and just 14 percent plan to shop in-stores on Thanksgiving Day, compared with 24 percent who intend to shop online.

"One of the significant trends that we're seeing is that consumers who plan to shop both in the omnichannel space—Web site, mobile—and in store plan to spend 75 percent more on average than the consumers that just shop in store," says Summer Taylor, director in retail practice at Deloitte.

Another noteworthy finding is that Black Friday is expected to surpass Cyber Monday as the most popular online shopping day during Thanksgiving Weekend: 66 percent of those shopping over the holiday weekend report that they will do so online on Black Friday; 52 percent intend to do so on Cyber Monday. More consumers may also be utilizing digital resources to find deals: Three of the four top channels where shoppers expect to find information about Black Friday sales are digital outlets, including retailer Web sites, Web sites dedicated specifically to Black Friday deals, and emails.

"The digital influence is likely to touch nearly every moment in the shopper's journey this holiday season," Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution practice leader, said in a statement. "With nearly 90 percent of respondents planning to go online at some point during the upcoming holiday weekend, digital retailing is about more than an online transaction. Mobile and online tools that are fit for the shopper's purpose—like product information and availability or tailored promotions—can influence where that customer shops and what they buy before they head to the store. Retailers should aim to win the customer while they're making their lists at home, because once someone arrives at the store, it's often too late to inspire them."

Nevertheless, despite the prevalence of online retailing, 50 percent of respondents anticipate that Black Friday deals will be comparable in-store and online. Furthermore, the primary reason consumers cited for shopping in-store is that they don't want to miss out on deals. Also, 50 percent of shoppers said that they would wait to shop at their preferred retailers if those stores were not open on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday, and 56 percent reported that they feel more loyal to retailers who do not open on Thanksgiving Day. Finally, 30 percent of consumers intend to shop the Saturday after Thanksgiving to support local businesses.

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