This year’s “holiday shopping weekend” is expected to be a little different this year compared to 2020 for one primary reason: the pandemic.
Last year, many people stayed home and shopped online only, but as the Covid numbers are falling, the interest in going out to holiday shop is also increasing. The pandemic is also largely to blame for issues that have resulted in a significant supply chain crunch.
Every year, we look at predictions for the weekend after Thanksgiving, namely Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. Here is what our research found.
Black Friday, November 26
For decades, Black Friday has been known as the biggest shopping day of the year. Then, retailers started opening even earlier, and some even were open on Thanksgiving Day. In recent years, “Black Friday” sales began as early as mid-October.
This year’s Black Friday event started in October for many retailers, but several large ones like Target and Walmart declared they would be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Our belief is, they saw it backfire on them, and instead of bringing more sales, it gave too many regular shoppers a bad taste in their mouth.
Experts still expect retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy to be king this weekend, but we agree with the folks at BlackFriday.com that it’s essential not to overlook other options, including our client Wayfair.com.
BlackFriday.com did an interesting survey of 1,000 shoppers about their Black Friday/Cyber Monday plans, and these interesting figures were among the results:
- In-store shopping will make a comeback in 2021, with 77%of respondents ready to go the retail route if the store is open and/or the deal is not available online.
- About 66% plan to complete their holiday shopping as early as possible.
- Budget and finances are the most prevalent causes of holiday stress.
- Less than one-quarter of respondents have concerns surrounding safety and health when shopping in-store.
Small Business Saturday, November 27
This is the 12th anniversary of the shopping event dubbed Small Business Saturday. The concept is the brainchild of American Express, but it has taken on a life of its own through the Shop Small movement. Last year, American Express expanded the program to include the idea of “shopping small all season long.” The program’s free resources, including an online creator studio for small businesses to use, was expanded last year to include the “all year” and “all season” concept.
In this article in Forbes, Small Business Saturday’s goals are vital for small business survival in 2022.
“With a stated goal of driving $100 billion in reported consumer spending to small businesses on Small Business Saturday from 2021 through 2025, this year’s event and the rest of the season is more critical than ever to keep small businesses afloat in 2022,” the article reads. “Some 78% of the small businesses surveyed said holiday sales will impact their ability to continue in business next year with more than half saying holiday sales need to be better or above average to succeed.”
If tradition holds true, shoppers will visit the big box stores for deals on common items such as electronics but will flock to small businesses for the more unique, handmade, or otherwise customized items. Items that are increasing in popularity for personal use and gifts.
Cyber Monday, November 29
Cyber Monday is usually deemed as the chance to grab those items you still need but couldn’t get on Black Friday. It’s also the day where online retailers shine with special deals, hence the holiday shopping event’s name.
Predictions are that this year will smash even more records. Oddly enough, experts predicted that the pandemic would decrease Cyber Monday spending last year due to financial constraints from the pandemic. Instead, spending jumped from $9.4 billion in 2019 to $10.8 billion in 2020.
BlackFriday.com, which also monitors Cyber Monday, made its prediction for sales in 2021.
“While uncertainty in the form of shipping delays and supply chain issues remain in the picture, we predict that Cyber Monday eCommerce sales will be over $11.8 billion this year,” the article reads. “Retailers will be doing everything they can to drive Cyber Monday sales by offering hot gifts in the form of tech, clothing, toys, and home goods. Plus, the online nature of Cyber Monday will work to its advantage.
“With stores already announcing they’ll be closed on Thanksgiving (which is usually the kickoff to Black Friday and the entire holiday shopping season), shoppers will be eager for a digital equivalent that lets them snap up holiday must-haves without entering a physical store,” the article concludes.
Giving Tuesday, November 30
While technically not about shopping, we see Giving Tuesday as a vital part of the holiday shopping event weekend. Giving Tuesday is a day for giving to local charities to help push them over the proverbial line for their annual goals.
According to GivingTuesday.org, “Giving Tuesday is a movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world.”
We’ve seen several predictions that say giving will be close to, if not back up to, pre-pandemic levels. In fact, some are saying records will be smashed.
Based on Google searches and other surveys, Whole Whale, a digital marketing agency in New York, predicts that 2021’s Giving Tuesday giving will be 27 percent more than last year to the tune of more than $3 billion.
As the shopping holiday weekend rapidly approaches, we wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you are a small business in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, or Missouri, we would love to talk to you about making your business more successful in 2022 with our premier delivery services!