With the Friday after Thanksgiving marking the official start to the holiday season, financial experts and researchers are predicting projected sales this year will hit a whopping $12 billion among U.S. consumers.
According to Fortune, a study from the National Retail Federation reports that more than 164 million Americans will be shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend, with 71 percent surveyed turning up for the shopping "Super Bowl."
However, the research also illuminates how Black Friday sales are becoming less crucial for retailers as sales start to stretch well beyond Thanksgiving weekend, with many heading online to make purchases than deal face-to-face with bargain-hunting crowds.
While Americans were shopping more online than in stores the day after Thanksgiving in 2015, Fortune adds how this year that will change. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 37 percent of consumers are planning to do most or all of their Black Friday shopping on the web, compared to the 16 percent who will supposedly plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores.
However, Adobe Analytics describes how sales are looking to grow exponentially on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, bringing in an estimated $5.9 billion and $7.8 billion, respectively. Adobe states Americans will be spending more than 1 in 6 of their shopping dollars online, with total e-commerce purchases projected to reach $124.1 billion — a nearly 15 percent increase compared to just the 2.7 percent in offline retail sales.
As the largest and fasted-growing online shopping day in the U.S., Cyber Monday is predicted to see a 17.6 percent increase in 2018 sales. But it is still not as close to the sales in China's Singles Day on Nov. 11, which trumps the entire shopping weekend as one of the world's largest global e-commerce holidays after it brought in nearly $31 billion this year alone.
Researchers are stating how the trend will continue to grow as millennials gain buying power over the years and mobile shopping improves. The NRF reports that last year, older millennials, notably between the ages of 25-34 years, were the biggest purchasers and spent $419.52 each on average between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, compared to an average of $335.47 per person for all shoppers.
"This holiday season retailers will experience the growing purchasing power of Gen Z and millennials," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Whether they are still in college or raising children, these consumer groups embrace the tradition of prior generations and take full advantage of Thanksgiving weekend deals both online and in stores."
But while half of the consumers surveyed by the NRF made 40 percent of their purchases last year on mobile devices, the increasing popularity and ease of doesn't mean younger consumers will stop heading to storefronts over the holiday weekend.
"People shop because that's what they've always done," consumer psychologist, Kit Yarrow of Golden Gate University told Popular Science. "There's a huge element of tradition. Some people have truly done this every year since they were kids."
Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images