Thanksgiving Day will be the cheapest online shopping day this holiday season, according to Adobe’s 2014 Holiday Shopping Predictions.
With prices 4 percent lower than any other day, Thanksgiving revenue is predicted to reach a record $1.35 billion, a 27 percent increase from last year.
“Everything we have been programmed to think about low prices is that the promotions are happening on Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” says Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for Adobe’s Digital Index. But it appears that may not always be the case. “People tend to think that later on in the season, prices drop because retailers try to get rid of their inventory. That may be true in-store, but not online. After Cyber Monday, prices go back up.”
During the holidays – which account for 27 percent of sales for the entire year – the top day for online shopping is Cyber Monday, with a predicted $2.6 billion in sales, though Black Friday isn’t far behind. Adobe expects $2.48 billion in sales on Black Friday, a 28 percent jump from last year. But with more retailers opting to open on Thanksgiving, Black Friday could overtake Cyber Monday as the top online shopping day by next year.
And, adds Gaffney, “As retailers face global conversion, some important days may leak through different regions.” She sites Singles’ Day, a Chinese antithesis to Valentine’s Day, as an example. The holiday occurs every November 11 and has become the largest online shopping day in the world.
Last year’s Adobe predictions for Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday were within 1 percent.
Though many people are going to stores on Thanksgiving, they’re also doing a lot of shopping on their mobile devices. Nearly one-third of sales this Thanksgiving will come from smartphones and tablets, Adobe predicts.
“You can be in a meeting with your boss and looking under the table at your mobile phone, buying stuff,” says Jeremy Geiger, chief executive (CEO) of Retailigence, a platform that provides customer application data to retailers. “Shopping is all around us. You can do it anytime, anywhere. It does kind of make this day, Black Friday, less significant.”
Just 2 percent of holiday purchases are made directly from social platforms, but those sales are hardly insignificant, since 25 percent of consumers consult social before shopping. Last week, Twitter released a study that found a correlation between tweets and sales. More than half of the study’s 2,100 respondents reported using Twitter while shopping and to research products.
“[Consumers will] turn to Twitter specifically, put in hashtags for that product and read what’s said about it, as research for buying,” says Gaffney, adding that many people are skeptical about the “sockpuppets” who post phony reviews online.
Based on social media buzz, Adobe names some of the hottest gifts of the holiday season as the new iPhone models, Fitbits, and anything related to Disney’s Frozen.
Geiger agrees with all of the software company’s predictions and has a few of his own.
“Instead of people lining up outside the stores, people will be getting on the website at 7:59 a.m., just to reserve the items to pick them up in the store,” Geiger says. “I predict a lot of servers will crash.”
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According to The NPD Group, many retailers could struggle to make the entire holiday shopping season a successful one compared to 2015.