Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Sales Records, High Participation for Millennials

By Amanda Silva, kNOW Research Manager at Critical Mix. She can be reached at [email protected].

This year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday both set online sales records during the biggest shopping weekend of the year. While online sales won big, offline Black Friday sales saw a decline, as more consumers opted to make purchases from the comfort of their homes.

In a survey of U.S. adults, 46% reported shopping on Black Friday, whereas 40% shopped on Cyber Monday. Despite Cyber Monday’s record-breaking growth in sales, Black Friday raked in more revenue in combined on and offline sales.

Forty-three percent of survey members felt that Black Friday offered better deals, compared to 29% reporting as such for Cyber Monday.

Across both days, 57% of survey respondents said they only purchased 1-3 deals; however, a significant 20% reported purchasing 8 or more deals. The most active shoppers on either day were older millennials, ages 25 to 34, with 63% reporting that they shopped on Black Friday and 51% reporting that they shopped on Cyber Monday. Of this age group, 96% actually purchased a deal on Black Friday and 94% purchased a deal on Cyber Monday.

While adults between the ages of 25 and 34 showed the highest level of participation, adults in age cohort 35-44 reported the highest level of spending, with 48-50% reporting purchases totaling $150 or more on each day.

All age groups, except adults between the ages of 45 – 54 and 55 – 64, reported higher participation in Black Friday than Cyber Monday. Of those who purchased deals on Black Friday, 64% of respondents spent $100 or more. On Cyber Monday, 59% reported the same. On each day, the majority of respondents (26 – 29%) reported spending $200 or more.

Regardless of which day consumers shopped, purchase intent was high, as 88-92% of respondents actually purchased deals. Seventy percent of survey members said that these purchases were planned rather than impulse buys. Women were more likely to engage in impulse buying than men, at 34% and 26% respectively.

Shoppers were primarily searching for deals on clothing and accessories, with 57% reporting as such, followed by toys and games at 38%.

According to survey results, more female respondents shopped on Cyber Monday than male consumers, at 41% and 38% respectively. On Black Friday, however, slightly more males (47%) reported shopping than females (46%).

The survey sample consisted of 1,000 adults nationally balanced by age, gender and region conducted by kNOW, Critical Mix’s on-demand survey product.

Overall, consumers reported pleasant shopping experiences on both days, with 94% reporting a pleasant experience on Black Friday and 95% reporting the same on Cyber Monday. Of those who had a less than pleasant experience on Black Friday, 62% attributed it to long lines at checkout, followed by 41% reporting low inventory.