There is still a dichotomy in how consumers approach Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday, according to a recent study by strategy and marketing consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners. Sixty percent of Black Friday shoppers browse through offerings in the hopes that they find the best deals, whatever they may be. Alternatively, 50 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers seem more intent on checking predetermined items off their lists, saying they are focused on purchasing specific products.

“While the two holidays are turning more and more each year into a holiday shopping weekend, there are still distinct opportunities for retailers to capitalize on,” said Hubert Paul, director at Simon-Kucher, in a news release. “We still see that Black Friday shoppers are more likely to seek deals in-store over online, which is likely because they’ve become accustomed to chasing after doorbuster deals (think higher-ticket items such as TVs). Retailers should continue to headline these offers to drive traffic to their stores, and then focus on enticing shoppers to buy more once they’re there. Retailers should then lead with online promotional deals on Cyber Monday as nearly two-thirds of respondents associated that day with online deals.”

Black Friday and Cyber Monday still dominate the shopping year

U.S. consumers still overwhelmingly view Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the best opportunity to snag the biggest shopping deals of the year, even with the rise in popularity of other annual sale days such as Amazon Prime Day.

“Seventy-five percent of survey respondents indicated that they believe they will find the best deals throughout the year during Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Paul. “Despite its increasing popularity, Amazon Prime Day came in at a distant second with only eight percent of respondents saying they think they get the best deals on that day.”

In total, 80 percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to buy something during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and nearly 50 percent revealed they plan to buy something on both days.

Retailers are racing to start the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier

To be top-of-mind during this key shopping window, many stores start to build anticipation and tease their deals a month or more ahead of the big sales. However, the study found that 40 percent of consumers don’t start thinking about the sales until one to two weeks in advance, and 25 percent wait until the week of the sales to begin planning.

“Instead of racing to be the first ones out there, retailers should consider investing time to understand what the top-of-mind products are and which deals resonate best for the upcoming holiday season,” advised Paul. “Retailers who do this well will be best suited to drive traffic to their stores and site when consumers are ready to shop.”

Consumers segments themselves shop the sales differently

“During these holidays, women are much more likely to shop based on where the best deals can be found,” said Paul. “When we asked fashion shoppers where they will be shopping, the most popular response for men was typically at brick-and-mortar stores (22 percent), whereas the most common response for women was wherever the best deal is (21 percent).”

Meanwhile, Gen Z and Baby Boomers are more likely (20 percent) to be deal hunters than others (Millennials, Gen X at 12-15 percent). Moreover, age is not a factor when understanding how much consumers are planning to spend—across all age groups, 85 to 90 percent plan to spend at least $50, with a sweet spot between $100 and $200.

The study “2019 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Study” was conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners in October and November 2019. In total, 1,021 persons across a range of ages and income brackets were surveyed throughout the United States.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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