US iGens most enthusiastic to shop on Black Friday

August 17, 2017

Despite waning interest for traditional in-store holiday shopping events like Black Friday, it seems younger consumers are hitting the pavement in pursuit of deals this upcoming holiday season. Mintel’s Winter Holiday Shopping US 2017 market report reveals that iGeneration* winter holiday shoppers are the most likely (42 percent) to say they like to shop in stores on Black Friday, nearly double the amount of holiday shoppers overall (23 percent). Despite this renewed interest in brick-and-mortar holiday shopping, Cyber Monday remains the most popular holiday shopping day with 30 percent of American shoppers saying they like to shop online on Cyber Monday.

Whether in-store or online, getting the best bang for their buck is a top priority for most Americans. Nearly half (45 percent) of winter holiday shoppers agree they prefer to shop wherever they get the best deals, regardless of whether it is in-store or online. In fact, when planning their holiday shopping, the majority of consumers are focused on budgeting their spending and seeking the best deals; consumers are most likely to look online for promotions (40 percent), and more than one third (34 percent) set a budget.

With the majority of Americans saying that they spent the same (45 percent) or more (46 percent) money during the 2016 winter holiday season compared to the previous year, positive sales growth is expected to continue this holiday season. Overall, total US retail sales** in November and December are predicted to outpace 2016 sales by 1.8 percent to reach $723 billion in 2017.

“Black Friday is not dead, with younger shoppers proving to be a bright spot for the unofficial kick-off to holiday shopping. Interest among iGen and Millennial shoppers highlights an opportunity for brands to stay engaged with younger consumers as their behaviors evolve. Retailers looking to win on both Cyber Monday and Black Friday, and retain some of the notoriety of these shopping events, should consider running offers or spotlighting hot products in-store and online on both occasions,” said Alexis DeSalva, Retail and Apparel Analyst at Mintel. “As consumers conduct more of their holiday shopping online, it’s likely the shopping time frame will extend beyond peak holiday season as key sales days shift.”

While on the hunt for the perfect gift for friends and family, many consumers are willing to break from their normal shopping habits. Three in 10 (28 percent) winter holiday shoppers agree that holiday shopping makes them visit retailers they normally wouldn’t, while one quarter (25 percent) say they often buy items they weren’t planning to buy. In fact, while the majority (64 percent) of holiday shoppers plan to visit mass merchandisers in-store for their holiday shopping needs, other retailers, such as department stores (43 percent) and clothing stores (38 percent), are also capturing shoppers’ attention.

4 in 5 consumers say they plan to shop online this upcoming holiday season
Along with interest in Cyber Monday sales events, more than four in five (84 percent) consumers say they plan to shop online this upcoming holiday season. Whether or not they end up purchasing gifts online, the internet is increasingly playing a role in the holiday shopping process as many consumers feel the internet has changed how they shop during the holidays (45 percent). In fact, more than one quarter (26 percent) say they research items online before buying them in-store and one in six (15 percent) say they plan to do more shopping in stores, but end up doing it online.

“The internet’s effects are felt across many aspects of the holiday shopping season, like saving shoppers time and giving them greater flexibility to find new products and the best deals. Research has become a popular step for many, with consumers growing more accustomed to – and even enjoying – the hunt for the best price, which is likely influenced by increased online shopping. The transparency provided by the internet in terms of pricing allows consumers to easily compare prices and shipping options, with many choosing to shop wherever they get the best deal. Since consumers are now able to search and shop without leaving their home, or shop from wherever they want, they may no longer feel the stress once associated with holiday shopping and could be inclined to shop more as a result,” concluded DeSalva.

*Mintel defines the iGeneration as consumers aged 10-22 in 2017; in this report, only iGeneration consumers aged 18-22 were surveyed
**Excluding motor vehicle and parts sales

Press copies of Mintel’s Winter Holiday Shopping US 2017 report and interviews with Alexis DeSalva, Retail and Apparel Analyst, are available on request from the press office.

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