Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Digital Trends Report


This Black Friday, consumers spent a record-breaking $3.34 billion—a 21.6% increase from last year (ABC News). As for Cyber Monday, desktop sales reached $2.67 billion, and over the span of five days—from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday—online sales reached $8.41 billion (comScore).

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Shoppers used voice features to purchase products
  • Consumers sought convenience over deals
  • Millennials flock to mobile
  • Consumers searched for personalized gifts
  • Shoppers engaged in heavy comparison shopping

Shoppers used voice features to purchase products

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Amazon Alexa users were offered unique deals separate from public promotion. Simply by asking Alexa for daily deals from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, consumers were able to shop the latest promotions. Amazon’s Alexa feature is meant to shorten the conversion path for consumers, allowing them to find what they need without the hassle of actually typing. Ultimately, Alexa is making shopping more convenient, quicker and targeted based on consumer wants and needs.

According to Assaf Ronen, Amazon’s Vice President of Voice Shopping, Alexa’s voice shopping feature lets consumers pick exactly what they want without having to filter through millions of products (Mashable). It also offered users exclusive discounts they couldn’t find elsewhere, something very important to consumers, as nearly 60% want to be in the know when there’s a sale available (eMarketer).

Consumers sought convenience over deals

According to BGR and Forbes, the overall best deals came from Amazon, particularly for electronics and wearables. Next to Amazon, Wal-Mart, Apple, Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s also had record-breaking sales.

Black Friday ads

Example of holiday ads from BlackFriday.com

But despite the fact that consumers want to know when there’s a deal or promotion, these same users value convenience over discounts. In fact, Kohl’s set a new company record due to optimizations over the past year to ensure convenience for its consumers (Fortune).

As we know, holiday shopping online wasn’t always so simple. And so, consumers felt the need to get the best deals by lining up for hours waiting for stores to open on Black Friday. But now, Black Friday deals are largely available online. And consumers are more than willing to participate in Black Friday festivities from their homes, particularly for special deals and locking down specific products before they sell out:

eMarketer chart

Millennials flock to mobile

There was a big generational gap in mobile shopping this year.  Native smartphone shoppers—millennials—are more comfortable using their smartphones than other generations. This year, 22% of millennials shopped using their smartphones, in comparison to only 18% of Gen Xers and 9% of baby boomers (GeekWire).

Consumers searched for personalized gifts

Retailers also noticed a gap in generational wants in 2016. For example, many retailers couldn’t provide millennial consumers with some of the items on their wish lists because they don’t necessarily want “things”–rather, they’re seeking experiences, personalization and homemade items.

For consumers looking for more tailored gifts, personalized and unique gifts, small businesses and local artisans were the go-to source.

Shoppers engaged in heavy comparison shopping

Now that consumers can shop online or in-store on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they know they can continue to browse around until they find the best or most convenient deal.

According to RetailDIVE, Amazon has prompted consumers to expect quick delivery and deep deals, making it hard for other retailers, like Wal-Mart, to compete. Even if a deal is sweet or a product is hot, many consumers are still taking the time to weigh their options.


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