E-commerce eats into Thanksgiving weekend crowds

New research from the National Retail Federation sheds light on how 140 million Americans plan to shop during the Thanksgiving weekend.

According to a new survey from the National Retail Federation, Black Friday will be the biggest day of the weekend: 69.1% plan to shop on Black Friday, or approximately 97 million shoppers.

In addition, 43.8% will shop on Saturday (61 million) and 24.2% will shop on Sunday (34 million). And, of those who plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day this year, seven in 10 (69.2%) say they shopped online and in stores on Thanksgiving in 2012. Roughly half (49.1%) will read newspapers for information about upcoming sales events. However, 33.5% will look for special emails from retailers, 27% will follow retailers’ websites and 21.9% will scour coupon websites to look for deals.

According to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, half of retailers surveyed (51.1%) are planning to start their Thanksgiving weekend online promotions at least five days before the big weekend. Recognizing the growing trend among consumers to shop online on Thanksgiving Day, 53.5% of retailers say they will offer online promotions specifically for that day.

During the course of Black Friday weekend, retailers will tout a variety of offers, including special email campaigns (44.2%) and one-day sales (41.9%), but consumers will also benefit from free gift with purchase promotions (23.3%), free standard shipping on all purchases (20.9%), and discounted shipping (20.9%).



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