Well, well, well. Thanksgiving weekend is in its final hours and most Americans are just glad to throw out the 3-day old leftover turkey and start hanging up Christmas lights. But for those of us who use the holidays as another excuse to hit the mall or fill up an online shopping cart, now is the start of the real-deal shopping season.
After Black Friday all bets are off. You make your lists of must-have’s on your shopping list, from family member gifts to a coworker’s Secret Santa, but once you’re out in the retail world, it seems like all budgets and sense of reasoning slips away, because hey! It’s the holidays and it’s all about giving (especially when you end up buying gifts to treat yourself along the way, you gotta make up for it somehow).
Before Cyber Monday empties our wallets a little more, check out these record breaking retail shopping stats from Thanksgiving weekend 2016:
137.4: Million Americans planned to shop on Thanksgiving weekend (more than the 134 million ballots cast by humans in this year’s presidential election)
30-40 percent: Of annual sales and profits for major retailers happen in the third and fourth quarter
16,000: People shopped inside Macy’s flagship Herald Square store on Thanksgiving evening
3,200: Televisions sold per hour at the start of Target’s Black Friday online sale
60 percent: Of Target and Walmart’s online sales came from a mobile device (this one is particularly interesting because in the world of advertising, we know people don’t usually “convert” on mobile)
$935.58: Estimated average spending amount per consumer in the holiday season
3.6 percent: Predicted increase in sales compared to 2015 according to the National Retail Foundation (NRF)
$1.93 billion: Spent on Thanksgiving day alone (yup, that’s a b)
5: States experienced the highest growth in online sales (Washington, D.C., Washington, Nevada, Kansas and Nebraska)
40 percent: Of consumers say e-mail is the best way to reach them with a deal
$300: Items under $300 were 20 percent more likely to be out of stock
So, these stats are pretty nuts. People are really willing to dish out the cash this time of year, all for the sake of filling the Christmas tree with shiny, wrapped boxes by the time the morning comes on December 25. While I’m all for a good shopping spree, I’d feel guilty without imparting some wisdom on you before you head into the holiday madness.
- Know your deals: Don’t get caught up with an exclusive, one day sale or a coupon expiring at 12AM. The deal will come back eventually, and chances are you could catch a better one if you just hang on for a little bit longer.
- Monitor your spending: Make lists, check items off and leave a physical or mental note in your head on the amount you’ve spent versus what you planned to spend. It’s great to have some sort of budget limit in mind before you begin shopping to keep things under control.
- Remember, it’s the holidays after all: At the end of the day, gifts are such a minimal part of what makes the Christmas season special. So, be a little bit kinder in a long checkout line, donate the extra $1 to a charity, or if you’re really feeling generous, take on a special act of giving project during this time of year. You’ll feel good knowing you’ve fulfilled the hopes and dreams of more people than just your immediate family.
So, clearly if you thought you were the only one ready to throw elbows and stay up all night on Black Friday, you were obviously wrong. At least tomorrow on Cyber Monday, you can start spending that holiday bonus a little bit early from the comfort of your favorite sofa.
(Shoutout to Fortune, Adobe Data, the NRF, USA Today and NBC for the killer stats)