Study: Half of consumers will complete holiday shopping by Thanksgiving

Dive Brief:

  • Almost half (49%) of U.S. shoppers will be all set with this year's holiday shopping before the end of their Thanksgiving meal, according to a new survey of 1,000 shoppers conducted by retail and marketing analytics firm Market Track. 

  • More than a quarter (27%) of the respondents said they’ll be doing most of their holiday shopping even before Nov. 1—up eight percentage points from 2015. More than half (52%) say they’ll shop online on Black Friday, while 61% said they’ll wait until Cyber Monday. Respondents also overwhelmingly cited Amazon as their top online shopping destination and where they plan to allocate a majority of their online budget for holiday shopping this year.

  • A huge majority (73%) told Market Track they’ll be researching prices online before heading to stores for the holidays, and the survey found that digital interactions generally influence 66% of shoppers' in-store purchases.

Dive Insight:

The pattern of holiday shopping inching up earlier and earlier in the calendar continues, according to this survey, as does the primacy of price consideration for holiday shoppers. Retailers themselves have contributed to this trend by starting their holiday marketing, and price and delivery promotions earlier.

But whether Market Track’s survey reflects shoppers’ plans or merely their intentions remains an open question. Last year there were a significant number of holiday-shopping procrastinators, some of whom were hoping to take advantage of last-minute deals.

“Beating other retailers to the punch by taking demand out of the market early is nothing new,” Traci Gregorski, senior vice president of marketing at Market Track, said in a statement. “Look for early digital sales to kick off the season in earnest with compelling deals in October to entice consumers to shop early. In addition, there will be heightened competition for online shoppers with significant online discounting extending to the Saturday before Christmas. Last year we saw discounts on many hot holiday items at 40% below the Black Friday sale price toward the end of the season.”

For shoppers it can be a dicey consideration — they stand to save money, but risk missing out on supplies of what they really want. That makes having in-demand or unique merchandise especially critical if retailers want to avoid competing on price

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2016 holiday shopping season. You can browse our holiday page for more stories. 

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Filed Under: Consumer Trends Marketing Holidays
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