134 Million Shoppers Will Scramble for Gifts on ‘Super Saturday’

The weekend before Christmas is almost upon us

Adobe expects consumers will spend $1 billion online on Saturday alone. Getty Images
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

Brace yourself for yet another retail holiday. This time, it’s Super Saturday, or the Saturday before Christmas, and it is upon us.

According to a survey from industry body the National Retail Federation (NRF) and data firm Prosper Insights and Analytics, 56 percent of nearly 7000 respondents—which the NRF said equates to about 134 million Americans overall—plan to shop on Super Saturday this year. (Based on a U.S. population of 328 million, that’s about 41 percent—and it’s up slightly from 126 million, or 39 percent, in 2017.)

The NRF didn’t have figures for anticipated spend on Super Saturday, but Adobe expects consumers will spend $1 billion online on what it calls Panic Saturday. That’s far less than Cyber Monday, when U.S. consumers spent $7.9 billion online, as well as Black Friday ($6.2 billion) and Thanksgiving ($3.7 billion).

While the survey found 40 percent of shoppers expected to be finished with their holiday shopping by Dec. 19, about a quarter (24 percent) said they were planning to shop Super Saturday, 7 percent said they’d still be shopping on Christmas Eve and 4 percent said they wouldn’t finish until after Christmas. (Of the latter, 50 percent said they’d take advantage of after-Christmas sales in stores and 45 percent said they’d take advantage of sales online.)

Indeed, Prosper evp of strategy Phil Rist said consumers are researching everything from shipping deadlines to the best deals—and some are looking to the days after Christmas to find even better bargains.

Adobe found shoppers are increasingly opting for click-and-collect as Buy Online Pick Up In-Store, or BOPIS, grew 47 percent year over year. It also highlighted that Panic Saturday will have some of the best deals of the season on toys, televisions and computers, which will see discounts of 28.2 percent, 16.3 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively.

In a survey of its own, data firm Lightspeed found that about one-fifth of consumers will be shopping this weekend—and 25 percent of consumers have a gift list of ten or more people, so there’s plenty of opportunity for retailers in what remains of 2018. That, Lightspeed said, means they can discount excess products to incentivize consumers to shop more—and eliminate overstock.

The NRF/Prosper found consumers who had not yet finished their shopping were still deciding what to buy (44 percent) or were waiting for family to tell them what they wanted (27 percent). They also cited other financial priorities (26 percent), unforgiving schedules (25 percent) and procrastination (22 percent).

Over half (51 percent) of consumers with shopping left to do said they would make their remaining purchases online, compared to department stores (41 percent) and discount stores (25 percent). A smaller number said they’d go to apparel stores, electronics stores, local/small businesses and grocery stores.

In fact, location intelligence firm Cuebiq found Super Saturday drives “significantly higher in-store visits” than even Black Friday. Case in point: Retailers Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, JC Penney, Macy’s and Sears saw approximately 4 million shoppers cumulatively on Super Saturday 2017 (compared to about 3.3 million visitors on Black Friday 2017). That being said, Sears shoppers at least will have at least 142 fewer locations to choose from this year.

There aren’t any surprises when it comes to what shoppers are giving: The NRF/Prosper found that the most common purchases were clothing (53 percent), gift cards (38 percent) and toys (37 percent), followed by video games, books/movies, food and electronics.

“Retailers will use every opportunity to see that shoppers have a great experience in these final few days,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement. “Whether looking for competitive prices, festive in-store events or last-minute online shipping deals, retailers are ready to deliver.”

@lisalacy lisa.lacy@adweek.com Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.