Holiday Shopping Habits: A Look Back on a Historic Cyber Weekend

Holiday Shopping Post-Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer two distinct shopping events, but rather an extended retail holiday that blurs the line between the online and in-store shopping experience. This year, Black Friday shoppers spent a record $7.4 billion online, with mobile purchases accounting for $2.9 billion of total online sales.

Compared to last year, Cyber Monday saw a 17.4% increase in online sales, generating a record $9.4 billion across the board. Amazon declared this Cyber Monday the single biggest shopping day in the company’s history, while Walmart emerged as one of the brick-and-mortar winners of the weekend thanks to a mobile shopping app that offers consumers a seamless in-store experience.

Audience Snapshot: Holiday Shoppers

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday now in the rear-view, we surveyed nearly 3,500 members of the Fluent audience to understand where they are in their 2019 holiday shopping journey.

Post-Thanksgiving Weekend Holiday Shopping Progress

Holiday Shopping Habits: Post-Black Friday Progress

Some topline findings from the survey:

  • 22% of the Fluent audience is done with their holiday shopping, while 42% have yet to start.
  • Half of shoppers surveyed (49%) have purchased gifts as late as Christmas Eve, with 1/3 planning to do so again this year.
  • Significant others topped the list of most difficult people to purchase a holiday gift for (23%).
  • 2/3 of consumers purchased an item for themselves when shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Cyber Weekend Findings

Below we take a closer look at the Fluent audience to get a better understanding of their shopping habits this holiday season. As a leading performance marketing company, Fluent creates immersive media experiences to engage with nearly one million consumers a day. Through these interactions, we gather information about shoppers and their purchase intent. We then use these self-declared insights to build precise audiences, helping our brand partners to connect with the right shoppers at the right time.

Holiday Shopping Habits: What They Spent

Holiday Shopping Habits - Spending Expectations

This year, 37% of those who shopped on Black Friday spent more than they were planning to, with 28% surpassing last year’s total spend. Less than half of shoppers (39%) were very satisfied with the deals offered by retailers on Cyber Monday, with 44% spending less than expected. For those that did shop on Cyber Monday, 36% cited free shipping as a driving factor, with 27% naming discounts and 12% drawn by the option to buy online and pick up in-store.

Factors Influencing Cyber Monday Purchases

Holiday Shopping Habits: Cyber Monday Purchases

Holiday Shopping Habits: Where They Shopped

62% of those surveyed shopped in stores on Black Friday. Among those who shopped online, 42% made a purchase via Amazon, 42% shopped on a retailer website, and 23% turned to a digital marketplace like Ebay or Etsy. Among the Fluent audience, retailer websites were more popular than Amazon on Cyber Monday, with 44% and 39% of shoppers choosing each respective shopping destination.  Social also drove sales this weekend with an average of 1 in 5 shoppers purchasing a gift via a shoppable Instagram ad.

Purchases via Social Media

Holiday Shopping Habits: Social Media Purchases

Holiday Shopping Habits: What They Bought

73% of shoppers prefer to give a physical gift for the holidays, rather than an experiential gift such as concert tickets or a spa day. Clothes and shoes were the top purchase on Black Friday (56%), followed by electronics (48%), and household items (34%). Among Cyber Monday shoppers, electronic devices and clothing were equally popular purchases.