Surveys Show Conflicting Black Friday and Cyber Monday Projections

Nov 21, 2012 9:46 PM  By

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping surveys roll across the wires, it’s clear no two projections for the kickoff of the holiday season are alike.

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Though the results of several industry surveys differ, all appear to favor a happy holiday season for B2C merchants.

Although the National Retail Federation predicted in October that holiday sales for this year will rise 4.1%, to $586.1 billion, a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey by the NRF, found that up to 147 million people plan to shop Black Friday weekend, a slight decrease from the 152 million last year.

Even though the NRF preliminary survey results found that there could be a slight dip in consumer activity over the Black Friday weekend, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that both Gallup and the University of Michigan polls show consumer confidence has hit its highest level since the recession in 2008. The newspaper states that consumer confidence is in large part due to an improvement in job growth, the housing market, and debt pay downs.

While the predictions differ, insiders all agree that this holiday shopping season will be a success for retailers. According to the Consumer Electronics Association Pre-Black Friday Survey, 60% plan to shop Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, with Black Friday expected to be the busiest shopping day of the weekend. Black Friday, the survey found, will consist of 33% heading out to traditional brick and mortar stores while 20% will shop online.

Saturday and Cyber Monday will be the next most popular shopping days with 34% shopping on Saturday and 25% will go in-store or online on Monday, CEA found.

“The 2012 Thanksgiving weekend has the potential to be the biggest shopping weekend on record,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and senior director of research in a release.

Although the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is expected to be a success for retailers, comScore says there has been a total of $10.1 billion in online sales this holiday season so far. That shows a 16% increase compared to early November last year. In fact, comScore found that Nov. 8 was the heaviest online spending day of the season to date at $829 million.

“The strength leading up to and during the holiday season-to-date, in addition to a maximum 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, provide the basis for what we view as a fairly optimistic outlook for the 2012 online holiday shopping season,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni in a release.

Erin Lynch is the associate editor at Multichannel Merchant. Erin can be by emailing her at erin@multichannelmerchant.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @LynchMCM or on LinkedIn.