The online survey found that slightly more than half (52%) of respondents said they are less likely to shop on Black Friday this year, with nearly the same number (50%) less likely to shop on Thanksgiving and 42% less likely to shop on Cyber Monday.
Approximately two-thirds (64%) of those who said they don’t plan to shop on Black Friday cited the crowds of people competing for bargains as the reason. Another reason for the expected drop in shopping during the peak holiday shopping days: year-round bargain buying. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers said they shop for holiday gifts throughout the year, with the rise of constant discounts like deal websites and Amazon Prime Day. In fact, more than four in 10 respondents cited the ability to get equally good discounts other days of the year as one reason they’re less inclined to shop on Black Friday.
In addition, consumers plan to do more than half (54% ) of their holiday shopping, on average, from the comfort of their home this year rather than in person at the mall or other brick-and-mortar stores (46 percent). Furthermore, half of the survey respondents said that a convenient shopping experience online, including easy check-out and purchase through mobile apps, are positively affecting their holiday spend in 2017.
“Given the rise of constant discounts and promotions on sites such as Amazon, consumers are doing more of their holiday shopping year-round, and this is proving to be the biggest competitor to the traditional peak holiday shopping days,” said Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Retail practice. “Smart retailers are taking a longer-term view of the season. Rather than just striving to win new sales through ever-lower discounts, they instead see the holidays as an opportunity to define their purpose, engage in a way that is memorable and be clear about the role they will play in shoppers’ lives both practically and emotionally. Experiences that are distinct, memorable and worth sharing with others can be the foundation for a more-profitable, enduring and year-round relationship.”
The report also said there’s a lower percentage of consumers who say they’ll spend more money on holiday gifts this year. While several indicators predict holiday spending to increase, the number of respondents who said they plan to spend more this year dropped by 11% points to 33% this year. This could be due, in part, to the rising uncertainty of consumers’ financial circumstances: 29% consumers in this year’s survey said they are optimistic about their financial situation coming into the holiday period, compared with 34 percent last year.
Accenture contends shoppers will do their homework. Consistent with last year’s survey, US shoppers will be doing lots of research before making holiday purchases this year. Three-quarters of respondents said they will likely “webroom” and approximately the same number said they plan to “showroom.” In addition, more than four in five shoppers (84 percent) said they check Amazon.com before looking or buying elsewhere.