Holiday Shopping Underway, Boosted by Online Sales


NRFBlack Friday isn’t the barn-burner one-day sales event it once was. Now, online shopping is eating away at the need to stand in line for big sales and consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier. [lock]

More than half of those celebrating holidays (56%) had begun their shopping by early November, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s up from 54% last year, according to a survey.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says Thanksgiving weekend shopping has “evolved tremendously” over the past few years and is no longer the ‘start’ of the holiday season, though it’s still important to retailers and shoppers.

He predicts shipping promotions will ramp up in December.

The trend towards earlier and online shopping is led by 25-44s. Prosper Insights and Analytics conducted the survey of 7,000+ consumers for the NRF. The company’s Pam Goodfellow says there’s a lot of “self-gifting” going on too.

Broadcast executives will be pleased to learn traditional methods of advertising still resonate with consumers when it comes to sparking ideas for holiday gifts, however online searches and social media both serve as preferred inspiration channels for shoppers. According to the survey, nearly 47% percent will use an online search to find their gifts, and more 35% of those surveyed will look for inspiration for holiday gifts through advertising circulars.

Additionally, 31 percent will use TV ads for and 30 percent will look to catalogs for ideas. When it comes to social media, Facebook is the most likely place shoppers would look for inspiration (13%), though Pinterest will also be a key location for holiday shoppers (8.8%).