Austin, Texas - Welcome to the bipolar economy. Wall Street has been on a buying euphoria, which is not shared on Main Street. Markets are up, consumer sentiment is down, in fact hitting a six month low. That comes as retailers wring their hands at slumping sales, and critical Black Friday is only a few weeks away.
What's a shopper to do? A new survey by Offers.com shows they're changing their habits: going for bargains and spending more dollars and time shopping online.
Just over half (53%) of U.S. adults plan to shop on Black Friday this year, according to a new poll of over 1,000 adults. This includes roughly one in five (18%) adults who plan to shop primarily online, just over one in seven (15%) who plan to shop primarily in stores, and one in five (20%) who plan to shop both online and in stores. Close to half (47%) have no plans to shop on Black Friday.
"The fact is Black Friday is heading towards becoming holiday nostalgia, like sleigh rides and hand written Christmas cards," said Steve Schaffer, CEO of Offers.com. "It's not that it isn't there, we just need to change our notion of what it is. More shoppers are going online and more are doing it at their own convenience."
Among the 92% of U.S. adults who make purchases online, four in ten (40%) say that they do the majority of their online holiday shopping throughout the year. One in eight (12%) make the bulk of their purchases between Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, while a third (33%) do most of their online shopping between Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Eve. Just 1% wait until Christmas Eve to do most of their shopping.
"Retailers have to take the glass half full/half empty approach," said Schaffer. "There will be shoppers out there, but there may be fewer at the door... and they will be looking for bargains. Our data shows 69% of shoppers are looking for coupons or deals before making a purchase. That's a number too large for retailer to ignore."