The holiday shopping season no longer starts on Black Friday. A total of 47 million Americans will start by November 1. That leaves retailers less than seven weeks to get their holiday inventory in stock and set their price plans.
According to the 2016 Holiday Shopping Season survey for BestBlackFriday.com, conducted by SurveyMonkey:
- 35.53 percent (89 million people) to begin before Nov. 1
- 25.15 percent (63 million people) to wait until December
- 56.69 percent will start before Thanksgiving, which is a testament of all of the pre-Black Friday sales throughout November.
- More younger shoppers than older shoppers will procrastinate and start in December
Spending patterns look difficult for retailers:
- 15.37 percent to spend more this year
- 32.73 percent to spend less this year
- 51.90 percent will spend about the same as last year
- As age ranges increase, the percent that plan on spending more decreases
As might be expected, shopping preferences favor Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other retailers with strong online presences:
- 54.29 percent prefer online
- 45.71 prefer in-store
- Most will still do a mix of in-store and online shopping
- Those in the 18-29 group surprisingly do not overwhelming prefer online
Another trend will help the huge e-commerce company, in terms of where people will search for holiday deals:
- Amazon: 37.92 percent
- Other: 23.35 percent
- Walmart: 18.56 percent
- Target: 10.38 percent
- Best Buy: 7.78 percent
- Apple: 2 percent
Between Amazon and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), there is not much room left for the rest of the industry.