As Black Friday 2015 fast approaches, shoppers and retailers are getting ready for the single busiest day of the year. In the U.S. alone, $9.1 billion was spent by shoppers in stores in 2014, which doesn’t include online sales.
However, a new survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics on behalf of the National Retail Federation (NRF) reveals almost half of holiday shopping (both buying and browsing) will be online this year.
In the 10 years the NRF has been tracking this trend, this year’s projected 46.1 percent represents the high mark thus far for online shopping, up from 44.4 percent of 2014.
When it comes to technology and shopping, smartphones and tablets are playing bigger roles in finding bargains. This includes while customers are at home online or shopping in brick and mortar stores.
Smartphones will be the preferred research tool for shoppers, with 37.9 percent using these devices for shopping. As for tablets, almost half of the customers who own them or 47.5 percent will also use these devices to research for products, while 34.5 percent will use them to actually make a holiday purchase.
Another key data point the survey revealed is that roughly 20.3 percent of smartphone owners and 23.5 percent of tablet owners will check if an item is available in a particular store before visiting to make a purchase.
For small businesses, this can be a great way to bring people in to your doors. If one in five customers are checking for availability online, making sure you always have the items on your website at your store can make a huge difference.
Overall, holiday spending is expected to increase a tad from the average of $802.45 per person in 2014 to $805.65 per person this year. The spending on gifts for family members will also increase from last year’s $458.75 to $462.95.
The biggest factor in the decision making process for the holiday shopping season was sales or price discounts for 73.1 percent of the respondents to the recent survey. But, six in 10 or 60.7 percent said, the quality of the merchandise is just as important.
“In an effort to attract all shoppers — from the extremely price sensitive to the online millennial, retailers will be offering exclusive incentives, low prices, price-matching, top toys and everyone’s favorite — free shipping and buy online pick up in store offers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.