Are you planning to brave the Black Friday sales? If so arm yourself with these statistics to get an idea of what you might be in for.
The Black Friday sales have traditionally been a day of absolute mayhem.
With eager shoppers typically queuing outside stores at the crack of dawn, fighting over toaster ovens and large screen TVs once inside, and pushing around trolleys full of crap they never knew they needed.
In fact, it can feel like a bloodsport version of Supermarket Sweep!
However, there's no denying you can make some huge savings if you know what you're doing.
And this can be a big help for shoppers on a tight budget, with many of us using the Black Friday sales to buy gifts for the upcoming holiday season.
So rather than sending you into battle with your eyes closed, we thought we'd take a look at the latest Black Friday spending statistics and figures so you'll know what to expect.
And to do this we analysed various surveys and reports, including those from the following retail companies and organisations, to get an idea of the general Black Friday shopping trends.
Black Friday Highlights
Before we go into more detail on what was in the various surveys and reports, here's a Black Friday spending infographic featuring the key findings.
Share Our Infographic On Your Site
<p><strong>Courtesy Of Gift Ideas Unwrapped.</strong><br /><br /><a href='https://www.giftideasunwrapped.com/black-friday-spending-statistics/'><img src='https://www.giftideasunwrapped.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Black-Friday-spending-statistics-infographic.png' alt='Black Friday spending statistics infographic' 540px border='0' /></a></p>
How Popular Is Black Friday?
Black Friday has been decreasing in popularity over recent years, and the PYMNTS survey echoed this by finding that 40.5% of Americans didn't do any shopping on the day itself in 2019.
However, this still meant there were 151 million Americans who did make a purchase on Black Friday, even if that figure was down from 157 million in 2018 (PYMNTS).
While the National Retail Federation found that Black Friday was the busiest shopping day over the 2019 Thanksgiving weekend, both online (with 93.2 million shoppers) and in store (84.2 million shoppers).
However, only 36% of shoppers planned to do most of their Thanksgiving weekend shopping on Black Friday in 2019, which was a big decrease from 59% in 2015 (PWC).
This could be due to sales and discounts being offered more and more throughout November rather than just on a single day, as 47% of shoppers said they planned to take advantage of deals offered earlier in November rather than waiting for Black Friday (ICSC).
However, Black Friday discounts were still pretty good, with Salesforce estimating the average discount rate at 28% for online retailers, and Coresight putting the average figure for physical stores between 37%-47%.
So, with those kind of savings Black Friday will be around for plenty of years yet.
How Much Are We Spending During Black Friday?
Thanksgiving weekend is huge for retailers, with Americans expected to spend $87 billion on pre-Christmas sales days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Finder).
The average spending on Black Friday purchases alone among shoppers in 2019 was $380 per person, which was up over 18% from the previous years average of $310 (PYMNTS).
And If we take that average spend and apply it to the 151 million participating Black Friday shoppers, then that would amount to a huge total spend of over $57 billion. Kerching!
There was a big difference in spending depending on the age range of the shoppers, with Millennials topping the chart with an average spend of $509.50, while the eldest group (seniors) spent the least at $120.40 (PYMNTS).
Online shopping was big during Black Friday in 2019 with $7.4 billion being spent online, up a whopping 19.6% from $6.2 billion the previous year (Adobe).
With the average online order being $168, which was also up from the previous year by 5.9% (Adobe).
While the average in store transaction came in at $60, which was an increase of over 23% from the typical Friday average of $46 (Fiserv).
And electronics was the product category that had the biggest average spend per transaction at $214, while furniture and home furnishings had an average of $180, sporting goods was $101, and clothing and shoes came in at $81 (Fiserv).
Where Are We Doing Our Black Friday Shopping?
Of the 151 million Americans that shopped on Black Friday 2019, PYMNTS found that 33.95% of them did so in store only, 34.29% solely shopped online, while 31.76% used a combination of both methods.
However, shopping in store on the day is definitely not as popular as it once was, with 61% of people saying they planned to avoid shopping in physical stores during Black Friday (PRNewswire).
The reasons given for this were that stores are too busy (37%), it was easier to shop online (27%), the discounts weren't worth the inconvenience (25%), they thought they could find better deals at other times (7%), and customer service would be below usual standards (4%) (PRNewswire).
And some figures back up this trend, such as the number of in store shoppers on Black Friday 2019 being down by 4.4% from the previous year (ShopperTrak), and in store sales being down by 1.6%, while the average transaction value dropped by 6.7% (RetailNext).
So it's no surprise that 54% of shoppers were planning to do their Black Friday shopping online in 2019 (PWC).
The reasons people gave for wanting to shop online rather than visit a store was for the ease and convenience (65%), being able to take advantage of special online deals (55.5%), and online stores having the items they wanted in stock (26.5%) (PYMNTS).
This shift to online shopping probably accounts to why Amazon do so well on Black Friday, as in 2019 73% of shoppers made at least one purchase on Amazon, while 38% did so at Walmart, and 28% at chain stores such as Macy's and Nordstrom (PYMNTS).
However, there are people that still prefer the traditional way of shopping in store on Black Friday.
The reasons they gave for this were because of the special in store deals on offer (53%), stores having their favoured items in stock (38%), and that they felt it was easy and convenient for them (37.8%) (PYMNTS).
And distance wasn't an issue either, with 38% of shoppers admitting to travelling more than 10 miles for Black Friday in 2019, while 25% saying they'd be willing to travel more than 25 miles in search of a good deal (Fiserv).
What Are We Spending Our Money On?
With all the crazy sales and discounts fighting for our attention as we shop on Black Friday, it can be hard to keep a level head and only buy what we need.
So what do most people end up buying on Black Friday?
Well the most popular categories for Black Friday purchases in store were clothing and apparel (bought by 57.3% of shoppers), followed by electronics and appliances (44.6%), grocery items (31.3%), books, music and sporting goods (24.3%), and health care and personal items (23.9%) (PYMNTS).
While for online shoppers the most popular items were clothing and apparel (56%), electronics and appliances (51.6%), books, music and sporting goods (22.9%), health care and personal items (21.8%), and home furnishings (16.2%) (PYMNTS).
Fiserv's SpendTrend Holiday Report found that the category with the biggest increase of sales on Black Friday 2019 was electronics, which had nearly 5 times the usual amount of a typical Friday. Sporting goods (4.5 times more than usual), clothing and shoes (4 times), and furniture and home furnishings (2.5 times) also did much better than usual.
This increase in sales of electronics is backed up by the top 5 searched for products online on Black Friday in 2019 being the Nintendo Switch (1.3m searches), PS4 (1.16m), Apple Watch (847k), Apple Airpods (583k), and the PS4 Pro (471k) (SEMRush).
While the categories of products Americans were searching for the most on this day were laptops (95.9k), furniture (35.7k), shoes (28.1k), flights (23.2k), and toys (23.1k) (SEMRush).
And many of us use the Black Friday sales to begin our holiday shopping, with 73% of planned spending on goods over the Thanksgiving weekend being for gifts and holiday related items (ICSC).
And Finally, How Are We Paying For It?
It's important not to get carried away with the Black Friday sales, but the sad fact is many of us do.
And this contributes to credit cards being the most popular form of payment for Black Friday purchases, with 49.3% of shoppers making in store purchases this way, while 42.3% used their debit cards, and 36.3% paid in cash (PYMNTS).
While 54.3% of online shoppers paid by credit card, 36.6% with their debit cards, and 25.4% via PayPal (PYMNTS).
Getting caught up in our hunt for a bargain can lead to some rash purchases, with 52% later regretting something they bought in the sales (Finder).
Fighting your way through the Black Friday sales isn't everyone's idea of fun, but it can save you a packet if you shop smartly.
So reading up on the latest Black Friday spending statistics and trends can really help you to navigate this crazy day.
And the big finding here is that many of us are increasingly opting to shop online rather than in store to avoid the queues, crowds, and mayhem.
So if busy stores aren't your thing, pour yourself a nice cup of coffee, get your credit card at the ready, and browse through the various offers and discounts from the comfort of your own home instead.