Heading into Super Saturday, the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics predicted 147.8 million U.S. consumers would make it the biggest shopping day of the year, approaching in just one day the 189.6 million shoppers over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend.
This year’s projected shopping volume was up from 134.3 million last year, according to the annual survey. The NRF’s numbers include in-store and online shoppers.
Amid scant post-Super Saturday reports, Adweek was signaling more Super Saturday shopping took place in stores vs. online, despite Amazon’s modified delivery options, for example, and competition for fast last-minute delivery between retail giants Target and Walmart.
Citing data from mobile payment company Square, Adweek said the busiest December day for online shopping was Dec. 7, with Super Saturday online sales for bricks-and-clicks retailers accounting for only 9% of their overall sales.
Those early indications track with results for the 2018 holiday season, when Adobe Analytics reported $110.6 billion was spent online between Nov. 1 and Dec. 19, up 17.8% or $16.7 billion from 2017, making it the biggest online shopping period of all time in the U.S. That record ecommerce spending came before the Super Saturday weekend last year.
“This shift on Dec. 21 is when any business owner who is only online will want to consider going into a brick and mortar popup, farmer’s market, or any kind of holiday market because it’s clear consumers are still spending and searching for gifts, but they want to purchase it in person and walk home with it that day,” Square economist Felipe Chacon told Adweek.
As of early December, according to the NRF, 86% of holiday shoppers had started buying, finishing 52% of their purchasing for the season. At the same point in 2018, 88% of them had done so, on average completing 58% of their holiday purchases, NRF said.
The last time there was a shortened holiday shopping season in 2013, with 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, shoppers had completed 50% of their purchases at the same point, according to the NRF.
The NRF survey showed that lots of shoppers who still needed to complete at least half of their shopping left were still at the point of deciding what to purchase (41%), while 28% were waiting for wish lists, and 26% were waiting to take advantage of the best deals.
Of the shoppers who planned to purchase their last gifts the week before Christmas, 62% were expected to shop on Super Saturday, the NRF survey said, citing men and younger consumers as the biggest procrastinators.
“Most of us are guilty of having that one last gift we need to buy,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said heading into the Super Saturday weekend.