Is Cyber the new Black?

November 19, 2013 01:53 PM

While many U.S. retailers consider Black Friday the unofficial start of the critical holiday selling season, just-released results from Nielsen’s Holiday Spending Forecast study indicate that 85% of consumers this year plan on skipping the stores on Black Friday, a term used for the day after Thanksgiving.

However, nearly half of consumers (46%) say they will shop online this Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is the increasingly common designation for the Monday after Thanksgiving when many consumers head back to work and do some shopping online. That’s up from 30% in 2012.  Another bonus for web-only merchants: of those who plan to shop on Black Friday, 51% plan to at least do some of their shopping online.

13% of respondents plan to shop in physical stores this Black Friday, down from 17% in 2012, while the remaining 2% answered “Don’t know,” Nielsen says. This represents the fourth year in a row that the percentage of shoppers who say they will not hit the stores on Black Friday either increased or remained the same. In 2010, 80% of shoppers said they would skip the stores on the day after Thanksgiving; in both 2011 and 2012, 82% said so; and this year 85% say they will not visit stores on Black Friday.

The Nielsen estimates are derived from weekly surveys of 1,000 U.S. respondents.

Of consumers who do plan to shop in stores on Black Friday consumers named department stores (71%) and electronic stores (58%) as their top two store choices this year.

The research also finds:

  • 88% of consumers who plan to shop on Cyber Monday this year plan to use their computers to do their shopping. 37% of consumers plan to use tablets and 27% will use their mobile phones to shop this Cyber Monday.
  • Once on the web, 75% of Cyber Monday shoppers say they will turn to e-commerce sites or word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family for information about deals. 68% will scour e-mails and 51% say they will turn to Cyber Monday deal sites.
  • Stores still spend on advertising to bring shoppers in on Black Friday. Spending on Black Friday-themed television advertising on the day after Thanksgiving topped $11 million in 2012, nearly five times the $2.4 million spent on Black Friday ads on that day in 2011. Black Friday-specific ads accounted for just over 5% of all national TV ads shown on Black Friday in 2012, up from 2% in 2011 and less than 1% in 2008.

Ad spend estimates are from Nielsen’s U.S. measurement of ad spending for TV, based mainly on published rate-cards.





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