NRF Expects Holiday Online Sales to Rise

Thanksgiving ShoppingWASHINGTON–They ate, they shopped and they will shop some more.

According to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend, traffic on Thanksgiving Day grew 27 percent as nearly 45 million shoppers, or 31.8 percent of holiday shoppers, took advantage of special Thanksgiving savings offers, up from 35 million in 2012. On Black Friday more than 92 million people shopped—65.2 percent—for apparel, electronics and more, up from nearly 89 million last year. And more than 131 million, or 54.8 percent, of shoppers plan to go online today, Cyber Monday, up from the 129 million who participated last year.

“Despite record-breaking online shopping Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, holiday shoppers aren’t done yet; we expect Cyber Monday to be bigger than ever,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

On average, shoppers spent $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday (planned), down from $423.55 last year. Total spending is estimated to reach $57.4 billion.

Four in 10 shoppers, or 42.1 percent, indicated they shopped online over the weekend, the survey found. Of those, the average person spent $177.67 online over the weekend, or approximately 43.7 of their total weekend spending, up from 40.7 percent last year. NRF also asked shoppers which days they shopped online. More than one-quarter of holiday shoppers said they shopped online on Thanksgiving Day, and nearly half shopped online on Black Friday.

“Online shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend continues to be more popular as retailers tout special holiday savings through their mobile apps and websites,” said Prosper’s Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “With limited budgets this year, holiday shoppers will continue to make very thoughtful decisions about when and where they shop the remainder of the season, making sure to compare prices and keep up with retailers’ advertisements for special sales.”

When asked how they plan to shop on Cyber Monday, 24.8 million, or 18.9 percent, said they will use their mobile device, a 22 percent increase from the 20.4 million last year and a change from only 3.7 million in 2009, NRF said.