Looking for this year's survey results? See our 2018 survey here.
Black Friday attracts more tech shoppers, but Cyber Monday is getting more popular overall, according to our Google Survey of more than 1,000 consumers. And Christmas Eve is not as big a shopping day as legend would have it.
In addition to our Google survey, we partnered Offers.com, the online authority in deals and discounts, for more data on when and how consumers shop for the holidays. Offers.com shared with us some insights from its annual Holiday Shopping Survey (conducted by Ipsos, a worldwide leader in polling and market research).
Christmas Eve is Dwarfed by Thanksgiving Weekend
Although 40% of shoppers say they'll hit stores on Christmas Eve for last-minute gifts (and Christmas Eve has a reputation as being a big shopping day), Thanksgiving weekend still reigns supreme. In fact, fewer shoppers shop on Christmas Eve than on Small Business Saturday (when 57% of consumers shop, according to the Offers.com survey).
Given the time crunch, it's probably no surprise that most Christmas-Eve purchases are made in store, rather than ordered online -- 29% of Christmas Eve shoppers will buy at brick-and-mortar stores, while 17% will shop online. Meanwhile, 8% of those shopping on Christmas Eve will buy via a mobile device, and 2% will make purchases through social media.
Men More Likely to Procrastinate on Christmas Shopping
Men are 14% more likely than women to shop last minute on Christmas Eve, according to the Offers.com survey. While 33% of women shop on Christmas Eve, 47% of men do. Plus, women are more likely to start their holiday shopping early. One-third of women start shopping October or earlier, while just 21% of men can say the same.
Cyber Monday is Overtaking Black Friday
In 2017, 71% of consumers say they’ll shop on Cyber Monday, compared to 69% who say they’ll shop on Black Friday, according to the Offers.com Ipsos poll. That’s a small difference, but it’s a continuation of a trend; Cyber Monday slightly edged out Black Friday in Offers.com’s 2016 survey as well (69% of shoppers vs. 66%).
Even those still shopping on Black Friday are starting to behave more like Cyber Monday shoppers -- 44% of Black Friday shoppers say they will make purchases online this year, compared to 42% who say they’ll shop in store.
What Consumers are Buying on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Our Google survey revealed that, when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers are generally shopping for the same things on both days:
What are you looking for deals for on Black Friday? (percentage of consumers)
- Tablets/laptops/PCs/TV - 27%
- Clothing - 24%
- Smart-home gadgets - 15%
- Toys - 15%
- Gift Cards -11%
- Travel - 8%
What are you looking for deals for on Cyber Monday? (percentage of consumers)
- Clothing - 22%
- Tablets/laptops/PCs/TV - 21%
- Smart-home gadgets - 17%
- Gift Cards - 15%
- Toys - 14%
- Travel - 11%
Although Cyber Monday has a reputation for tech deals, slightly more shoppers are actually shopping for clothing on that day. Black Friday, it turns out, is the more tech-heavy shopping day.
Plus, while retailers have tried to tempt shoppers with lightning travel deals on Cyber Monday, travel is the lowest priority for shoppers. Smart Home gadgets, on the other hand, are just as popular as toys this year (on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and that’s a good thing -- with Google Home and Amazon’s Echo in fierce competition, deals on smart-home virtual assistants (and smart accessories) abound in major retailers’ Black Friday ads.
Consumers Are Informed, Strategic, Comparison Shoppers
No matter when they’re shopping, consumers aren't just clicking on the lowest prices when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
Quality of the product is the top decision-making factor consumers weigh, with 46% of respondents to our Google survey saying it most influences what they buy. Lowest price is a distant second at 30%.
38% of consumers plan to take advantage of free shipping this holiday season. Meanwhile, 19% plan to take advantage of price matching, and 16% plan to take advantage of easy returns. All those perks beat out extended holiday hours -- just 10% of consumers plan to avail themselves of those. This all suggests consumers are thinking about their purchases, factoring in convenience and cost-saving measures, and buying strategically instead of rushing to whatever store is open late.
Amazon is a comparison shopper’s go-to resource -- 55% of shoppers say they’ll check Amazon before looking or buying elsewhere.
About the survey
Our findings made use of two surveys:
1. A Google Survey conducted Nov. 6 -13 on behalf of BlackFriday.com: Google Surveys makes use of the inferred demographic and location information to employ stratified sampling by distributing the surveys based on the targeted audience to its publisher network and/or smartphone (Android and iOS) users. It infers demographics through respondents’ browsing history (e.g., infer geography from IP address), and matches them against existing government statistical data. Google Surveys uses post-stratification weighting to compensate for sample deficiencies to remove bias among the survey sample. This gives a more accurate result with lower root mean square error (RMSE) which also makes the results better represent the Current Population Survey (CPS).
A full description of the Google Surveys methodology can be found here.
2. An Ipsos poll conducted October 18 - 19, 2017, on behalf of Offers.com: Ipsos is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based practice and a world leader in polling and market research. For the survey, a sample of 1,005 adults over the age of 18 from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online, in English. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of +/- 3.5 percentage points for all respondents surveyed.
For more information about Ipsos’ online polling methodology, go here.