40 Shocking Holiday Shopping Stats You’ll Have to See to Believe

Or maybe you’ve heard some of these before?

As consumers prepare to shop, here's a look at some stats about what they'll do. Getty Images

Software company Adobe projects American consumers will spend $5.9 billion online during the upcoming retail bonanza that is Black Friday, which is up from $5 billion last year. Similarly, it estimates retailers will sell another $7.8 billion online for Cyber Monday 2018, which is up from $6.6 billion in 2017. (Although that’s still far less than the $30.8 billion ecommerce platform Alibaba made in 24 hours just a few days ago.)

Overall, the five-day Thanksgiving weekend is expected to net $23.4 billion in online sales, per Adobe’s figures.

Trade body the National Retail Federation (NRF) says this will come from an estimated 164 million shoppers. Black Friday will be busiest with 116 million, followed by 75 million shoppers on Cyber Monday.

Because it is such a lucrative time of year, consumer behavior is certainly under the microscope.

Take personal finance website WalletHub, for example, which found those looking for the steepest discounts should head to department store Belk, followed by JCPenney, Stage, Kohl’s, New York & Company, Payless ShoeSource, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Fred Meyer and Shopko.

WalletHub also found the product with the biggest discount is—drumroll—the Lifetime Storage Shed at a cool $1001 off.

Cash back app Dosh found moms are the bloodhounds of holiday deals, with 25 percent willing to stay up all night for extra cash back on purchases and more than 20 percent willing to kick a friend or family member out of her shopping group for additional savings.

And, finally, ecommerce personalization platform Monetate found the Dakotas—which are virtually forgotten in every other respect except as a destination specifically so visitors can brag about having visited all 50 states—top the list of both highest conversion rate during Cyber Week 2017 and most revenue per shopping sessions.

Here are 40 additional eye-popping Cyber Week stats:

  • Of those shopping this year, 65 percent said they are doing so to take advantage of deals and promotions retailers will offer. (NRF)
  • 78 percent of shoppers plan to shop during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. (RetailMeNot)
  • The top three places where consumers will be looking for gifts are: department stores (67 percent), online-only retailers (60 percent) and big-box stores (47 percent). (RetailMeNot)
  • Consumers want to shop online to avoid crowds (63 percent), get online coupons (55 percent) and deal with less stress (54 percent). (RetailMeNot)
  • 40 percent of consumers plan to do most of their holiday shopping via Amazon and other large online retailers. (Splitit)
  • 93 percent of millennials will search for deals this holiday season. (RetailMeNot)
  • Millennials plan to spend nearly $100 on their pets for Christmas. (Harris Insights/OpenX)
  • 60 percent of Americans are going to shop in stores or online over Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. (Tally)
  • 95 percent of retailers agree that deals and discounts are more effective at driving purchase decisions during the holidays than at any other time of the year. (RetailMeNot)
  • The biggest motivation pushing American consumers to shop on Black Friday is because they feel there are offers/discounts that are not usually available at other times of the year. (OnBuy.com)
  • Only 12 percent of consumers believe Black Friday will provide them with valuable moments to spend quality time with their family/friends. (OnBuy.com)
  • Nearly 40 percent of online shoppers experienced an item being out of stock while shopping on a retailer’s site; 80 percent of these shoppers defected to another retailer’s website. (Mirakl)
  • 55 percent of consumers have stopped shopping with a retailer because a competitor offered a better selection. (Mirakl)
  • While 45 percent of shoppers plan to visit stores on Black Friday, robust spending is expected to continue throughout the holiday season, with 28 percent spending on that Saturday or Sunday and 26 percent shopping on Cyber Monday. (International Council of Shopping Centers)
  • Digital media experiences will become a larger force in driving consumer engagement. (Perch)
  • Competition during the holidays is fierce, so it’s effective to send shoppers to your page on the days when it matters most. (Seller Labs)
  • Advertisers should not wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to launch their campaigns—the highest click-through-rates happen in November. (ZypMedia)
  • When sent after Cyber Monday, emails promoting a one-day extension of the Cyber Monday sale lose their sense of urgency and only drive a 2.7 percent conversion rate. (Yes Marketing)
  • Retailers should invest in digital to not only keep up with competitors, but to redefine value exchanges with customers. (Capgemini)
  • Value will become the key word this year. Just moving everything to digital like the paperless forces of yesterday does not guarantee that the changes translate into value to the business and their customers. (CommerceCX)
  • To reach shoppers, retailers will be investing heavily in mobile (72 percent) and in social media, particularly on Facebook (90 percent) and Instagram (76 percent). (RetailMeNot)
  • Today’s tech-savvy consumers no longer tolerate impersonalized, irrelevant outreach. (Emarsys)
  • 92.64 percent of Black Friday shoppers have been searching the internet for deals ahead of the day. (Influenster)
  • 92.72 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers have been searching the internet for deals ahead of the day. (Influenster)
  • Consumers should look to buy popular, higher-ticket gifting categories like wearable technology, cameras, TVs, tablets, headphones and portable speakers on Cyber Monday this year. (Numerator)
  • 30 percent of people say online ads help with finding gift ideas. (Harris Insights/OpenX)
  • 50 percent say they have learned about new products through digital ads. (Harris Insights/OpenX)
  • According to a pricing study, Cyber Monday offered the second lowest prices of any day during November and December last year, behind only Black Friday. (Numerator)
  • Prices on Cyber Monday were nearly on par with Black Friday on products like electronics. (Numerator)
  • More than half (57 percent) of consumers say that the closing of many department stores has negatively impacted their perception of ecommerce, showing that brick-and-mortar is still important to today’s consumers. (Avionos)
  • 34 percent of people said high shipping fees cause them stress and over one-quarter say not everyone offering two-day shipping is stressing them out. (Uship)
  • Online and in-store purchases are split about 50/50 now. Mobile in particular is taking off, with millennials and their parents—two of the most important groups for retailers—now making one-quarter of their purchases through mobile. (OpenX)
  • 61 percent of millennials will use a mobile device at some point as they browse and shop for the perfect gift. (Oath)
  • Among consumers who plan to spend more, 47 percent say it is because they earned more. (RetailMeNot)
  • Apple will continue to be hot. (SEMrush)
  • 84 percent of holiday shoppers are more likely to purchase a product online this year because they are confident it will arrive on time. (CommerceHub)
  • 86 percent of consumers said they are confident they can find specific gift cards that their family members will appreciate. (InComm)
  • The majority of Americans will opt to get a refund for Black Friday purchases they change their minds about. (OnBuy.com)
  • Consumers are 3937.6 percent more likely to be searching for “returns” in the lead up to Black Friday in 2018 compared to last year and the most likely demographic searching is parents. (Captify)

@lisalacy lisa.lacy@adweek.com Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.
@itstheannmarie annmarie.alcantara@adweek.com Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.