Archive for the ‘Holiday Shopping Stats’ Category

Thanksgiving Trends of 2016

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and Americans are getting ready to enjoy this quintessentially American holiday with food, friends, and family. As a market research firm, we wanted to find out how Americans will be celebrating and we couldn’t help but look into the Thanksgiving trends of 2016.

thanksgiving trends

Here are some of the Thanksgiving trends you can expect this year.


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All You Wanted To Know About Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

After we eat our fill on Thanksgiving and succumb to the sleep-inducing combination of carbohydrates, tryptophan and adult beverages, millions of us will get up the next morning to take advantage of great deals offered on the first official day of the holiday shopping season. While this tradition dates back to the early 20th century, traditions inevitably change with the times. More shoppers are making purchases on Thanksgiving day, and more are choosing to avoid the Black Friday crowds by shopping at home. The volume of Cyber Monday shopping has also picked up in recent years. So what can we expect for this year’s holiday shopping season? Read on to find out.

online shopping cyber monday

Thanksgiving Day – The Calm Before the Storm

While Thanksgiving was long excluded from the shopping frenzy, sales have picked up in recent years due to the prevalence of internet shopping, and increasing numbers of retailers choosing to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day evening. Online sales for Thanksgiving 2012 totaled $633 million, a 32% increase over Turkey Day 2011. 35 million people visited a retail store on Thanksgiving 2012, an increase of 6 million over the previous year.

Black Friday – The Myth, The Madness, The Legend

Even though Black Friday is just one day, most retailers talk about Black Friday sales in terms of the four-day stretch from Thursday through Sunday. Market research shows that last year 247 million people participated in this four-day shopping event, spending $59 billion, up from $52.4 billion in 2011. While the commonly accepted origin of the name Black Friday stems from the idea that this is the day that many retailers finally make it into the black for the year, this story was actually created by the retail industry in the 1980’s. The name was actually created by the Philadelphia Police Department in the 1960’s, which bestowed this name on the day because of the massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks it created. This isn’t the only time retailers changed Black Friday’s history. In the 1940’s, the industry successfully lobbied for Thanksgiving to be moved from the last Thursday in November to the second to last in order to move up Black Friday and extend the shopping season. After two years and lots of controversy, a compromise was reached, making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Cyber Monday – A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The traditional lore goes that online sales saw a significant increase on the Monday after Black Friday, and thus the name Cyber Monday was born. Actually, Cyber Monday was the brainchild of executives, who came up with the idea as a marketing campaign at a time when online sales for this day were actually not as strong as they were in mid-December. The combination of a catchy name and ever-increasing access to the internet through both home and mobile devices turned Cyber Monday into a powerhouse, and it has become one of the biggest online shopping days of the holiday season. Cyber Monday sales were over $1.6 billion in 2012, a 30.3% increase over 2011. In recent years, the industry has made an effort to pitch “Cyber Black Friday”, which encourages consumers to stay home and do their shopping online on Black Friday. Though it has gained some traction, Cyber Monday’s online sales in 2012 were still more than 36% higher than those on Black Friday.

Observation Baltimore has conducted a number of qualitative research studies involving retail and shopping at our Baltimore research facility. If you want to take part in one of these studies, please:


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Seasonal Shopping: Holiday Spending Data from Baltimore Focus Group Facility

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Whether you fought off the effects of the tryptophan in your turkey to hit the shops at midnight on Black Friday or made some online purchases from the comfort of your couch, chances are, you’ve already begun your holiday gift search. We’re here to offer some insights on the spending habits of consumers this holiday season.

In Style

Trends have indicated that while shopping for all the trendy holiday gifts, consumers are looking and buying online. Visa Inc. released data revealing that between the four day period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, online spending reached a record high at $5 billion. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has indicated that online shopping activity increased by over 28% on Cyber Monday, with sales rising more than 10% (Source).

Savvy Shoppers

Consumers are spending confidently this season: The National Retail Federation has suggeste d that holiday spending will develop from last year, growing to an estimated 4% to make up $586.1 in sales. The average shopper is projected to spend almost $750 on purchases for the holidays, up from $741 in 2011. Though many shoppers aren’t wholly convinced of the economic turnaround, many are at least feeling optimistic about the recovery, causing them to rest-assured that spending is safe.

More Insights

The financial consultants over at Deloitte release an “Annual Holiday Survey” to determine, as they put it, if “retailers’ registers [will] jingle” as loudly as sleigh bells do this time of year. Here are a few key takeaways from their survey:

  • Clothing and gift cards make up the top gift giving ideas, even though respondents indicate they’d prefer to receive gift cards and cash.
  • 45% of those polled said they would be shopping with the convenient click of a mouse on their computers.
  • 11% of respondents specified that they would shop online with a tablet device.
  • Consumers expect sales associates to be knowledgeable resources, providing information about the products they sell. Quick check-out at the cash wrap is also valued.
  • More than ¼ of those polled would rather shop “socially” with friends and family; this level increases to 38% among women.

Get out and give – or stay in to make your gift purchases online. Either way, happy shopping – may giving and receiving bring you joy this holiday season!

For more information about the Research Group Facility Observation Baltimore and the services we offer, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! If you’d like to participate in one of our focus groups, please sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

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5 holiday shopping trends, from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond

eCommerce Holiday Spending Continues Mega-Growth

Deloitte’s 2012 Holiday Survey

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Transition of Saint Valentine

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Many theories exist as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. The story supported by a majority of historians goes like this…

In ancient Rome during the reign of Claudius II (aka Claudius the Cruel), the emperor engaged his army in numerous bloody conflicts. As time passed, Claudius found it increasingly difficult to convince men to join his dwindling army. His belief was that Roman men did not want to leave their families and so Claudius’ solution was to make marriage illegal! Single men would then have no emotional ties to prevent them from fighting for Rome.

In response, Saint Valentine began to perform secret marriages in direct defiance of the emperor, Claudius II. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, he was immediately put to death, martyred on February 14th, around 270 AD. Pope Gelasius I later declared this day Valentine’s Day in 496 AD.

Today, the February 14th holiday is a worldwide commemoration of love and affection. Some interesting statistics:

Valentine’s Day Statistics

  • Valentine’s Day spending averages $13.19 billion annually;
  • The average US consumer spends $116.21 on Valentine’s Day;
  • Seventy percent (70% ) of those who celebrate give a card, 49% a telephone call, 48% a gift, 37% a special dinner, 33% give candy, 30% go to a restaurant for a meal, 19% give flowers;
  • One hundred eighty million ($108 million) Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion behind Christmas.
  • Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.
  • Nearly 50% of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the week prior to the holiday.
  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts.
  • On average, 196 million roses are produced annually, just for Valentine’s Day.
  • Seventy-three percent (73%) of all flowers are bought by men on Valentine’s Day.
  • Fifteen percent (15%) of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
  • About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.

Cheers to a happy Valentine’s Day!


If you have questions, contact the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore by calling 410-332-0400 or click here today!

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services.

We understand market research!

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The History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Statistics

Valentine’s Day Facts & Trivia

Valentine’s Day Statistics

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2011 Holiday Shopping Statistics and Trends

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Is the Holiday Shopping Craze Driving You Crazy? Well, you are not alone. In fact, 73% of consumers do ALL of their holiday shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to the Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey. It is no wonder that this time of year can be very stressful, especially for those individuals with large families and long wish lists.

Here are some more shopping statistics to help put the whole holiday shopping experience into perspective for you.

In 2010, holiday sales accounted for a staggering $584.3 billion. But don’t let that number fool you; the recent state of the economy has definitely had a negative effect on holiday spending.

Planned holiday budgets have dropped from $1,052 in 2001 to just $646 in 2011, according to an American Research Group telephone survey of 1,100 people. And with budgets shrinking, shoppers are looking to get a little more bang for their buck. In fact, of the 1,100 shoppers surveyed, 53% said they plan to wait until items go on sale this year instead of paying full price. This may be the reason that during “Cyber Week” this year – Black Friday through December 2nd – online retailers experienced three of the four highest spending days in history.

This brings us to our next point; today’s consumers are more tech-savvy than ever, with 37% doing their shopping online (up from 15% in 2001) and 44% using social media to find discounts, read reviews, and check family and friends’ gift lists. But the Internet shopping boom is not the only technological advancement in holiday shopping. 27% of smartphone owners plan to use their phones to help with their holiday shopping.

•      67% will use their smartphone to search for store locations

•      59% will use their smartphone to compare prices

•      46% will use their smartphone to check product availability

Remember, when all is said and done, the holiday season is not about the gifts you give and receive; it is about spending time with family and friends. So don’t let crazy holiday shopping get you down! Be thankful for what you have.

Happy Holidays from everyone here at Observation Baltimore!

If you have any questions, contact the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore by calling 410-332-0400 or click here today!

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services.  We understand market research!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn!


2011 Christmas Gift Spending Plans Flat American Research Group, Inc.

2011 Holiday Shopping Statistics and Email Marketing Tips GroupMail

Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey: Down Economy? “Bah Humbug!” Deloitte

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