A record-setting 91 million (37 percent) Americans expect to purchase tech or tech accessories during the week of Black Friday, starting the Monday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, the Monday after the holiday, according to a report by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
In total, a record 155 million U.S. consumers plan to shop during Black Friday and the surrounding week, with more than 70 percent of those shoppers (116 million Americans) planning to shop online.
Black Friday will remain the most popular day for in-store shopping, with 25 percent of those surveyed planning to shop the day after Thanksgiving, November 27 - a three percentage point decrease from last year, a finding that continues a slow but steady decline in expected foot traffic on Black Friday over the past few years.
The most popular day to shop online this year will be Cyber Monday, with 26 percent of consumers planning to shop on November 30 - a jump of six percentage points from last year.
The use of mobile devices to help consumers shop and make purchases will be more pronounced than ever over the shopping week, with more than half (53 percent) of consumers expecting to use a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, while shopping.
The top five most desired items on consumers’ lists include videogame consoles (up from the fifth spot on last year’s list); televisions (in the No.2 spot for the second consecutive year); tablets (down from the No. 1 spot for the last two years); notebooks, and smartphones.
The study also indicated consumer shopping behavior is moving away from the traditional, in-store Black Friday experience as Americans shop more frequently online and with mobile devices throughout the Thanksgiving week; alter when they shop, and visit fewer physical stores on Black Friday.
As the traditional Black Friday shopping day widens to include the surrounding week, more retailers have announced they will close on Thanksgiving Day.
Fifteen million Americans (six percent of U.S. adults) plan to shop in-store on Thanksgiving Day, a two percentage point decrease over last year.
"According to CTA’s holiday retail outlook, spending on tech during the holiday season is expected to reach nearly $34.2 billion, a growth of 2.3 percent. This is down slightly from the three percent growth recorded for last year’s holiday season," Steve Koenig, senior director of market research, told eWEEK. Part of this growth is due to more consumers spending on tech. "This year, 65 percent of U.S. adults indicate they will buy tech as a gift--for them or someone else. That’s 160 million people. In 2010 only half of U.S. adults bought tech gifts during the holidays,” Koenig said.