Holiday Shopping Sales Down from 2013

Posted on December 1, 2014 by - Marketing

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Don’t fret too much; corporate retailers that participated in the holiday shopping weekend aren’t going out of business. According to ShopperTrak, U.S. shoppers spent over 9 billion at stores on Black Friday. That number, however, was a 7 percent decrease from the 2013 figure.

A survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) also found that overall shopper traffic from Thanksgiving through December 1 dropped just over 5 percent from last year and the average person spent nearly 6.5 percent less than last.

It wasn’t just in-store sales either. The NRF also noted that online shopping sales were down. Why did this happen and does the slight drop in holiday shopping sales have any significance?

For Adobe, record-high sales were set on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday and sales on mobile devices were up 8 percent from last year on Thanksgiving and increased 3 percent from last year on Black Friday. Not all companies struggled.

Many retailers decided to open their stores for the first time on Thanksgiving Day starting around 5 or 6 p.m. This didn’t go un-criticized. Regardless, these stores still made money. Black Friday sales were down because many people went out Thanksgiving Day, shopped all night, and slept on Black Friday. At the same time, it makes sense that Adobe saw more mobile sales on Thanksgiving than Black Friday, considering many people refused to actually go out on Thanksgiving Day, but couldn’t resist a good deal when they were browsing on their smartphone or tablet from home.

As Greg Sterling from Marketing Land notes, “The distinctions between the various shopping days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday have broken down for consumers (though not for retailers).”

What does this mean moving forward for retailers’ marketing strategies? Is it indicative of a changing trend in consumer behavior? Or has nothing really changed?

Leave us your thoughts below, and tell us how you shopped (or didn’t shop) over the holiday weekend.

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