This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
This past holiday weekend—the five days spanning from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday—shoppers spent confidently and turned out to shop in-store well above pre-pandemic levels.
In fact, there was a record number of in-store shoppers every day over the weekend, resulting in a strong kickoff to the holiday season.
Year-over-Year BFCM Statistics at a Glance
Total In-store Shoppers
Total Online Shoppers
Average Spend per Person
Earlier this month, the National Retail Federation projected holiday sales would grow 6%-8% over 2021. There is uncertainty this holiday season for retailers, including staffing shortages, inventory concerns, inflation, and economic uncertainty. However, strong spending and shopper turnout over BFCM weekend indicate retailers will have a healthy holiday season.
Thanksgiving Weekend Overview
1. 196.7 million consumers shopped between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday
According to the NRF, 196.7 million consumers shopped during the five days spanning Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. This number is:
- 17 million more than last year (179 million people shopped BFCM weekend in 2021)
- The highest number on record since NRF began tracking
- 30 million higher than initial expectations
2. Nearly 123 million people shopped in-store over Thanksgiving weekend
Shoppers are returning to regular holiday traditions, including Black Friday shopping. Nearly 123 million people shopped at stores between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, up 17% from last year’s 105 million in-store shoppers.
The NRF reported in a press call that a “record number” of consumers were in-store each day of the five-day weekend.
3. 130 million people shopped online during BFCM—2% growth over last year
While in-store shopping saw a huge resurgence, online shopping grew much more modestly. NRF reports 130 million people shopped online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, 2 million more than the 128 million that shopped online last year.
4. Black Friday was the busiest day for in-store and online shopping
According to the NRF, 72.9 million people shopped in-store on Black Friday (up from 66.5 million in 2021).
Notably, more people shopped online during Black Friday than Cyber Monday, with 87.2 million online shoppers on Friday, compared with 77 million people who shopped online during Cyber Monday.
5. 77% of Saturday shoppers specifically shopped small businesses
After Black Friday, NRF reports that Small Business Saturday was the second-busiest day for in-store shopping, with 63.4 million in-store shoppers (up from 51 million in 2021).
Seventy-seven percent of people who shopped on Saturday did so specifically to support Small Business Saturday.
6. Shoppers spent $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday
Despite more shoppers visiting virtual and in-person stores on Black Friday, Cyber Monday was the biggest revenue day of the weekend.
According to Adobe Analytics, consumers spent:
- $5.3 billion on Thanksgiving
- $9.12 billion on Black Friday
- $4.6 billion on Small Business Saturday
- $4.96 billion on Sunday
- $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday
For a day-by-day breakdown, see our guides to:
7. Consumers spent $325.44 on average over the weekend—up 8% from 2021
This year, Thanksgiving weekend shoppers spent $325.This is a big increase over the average $301 spent over Thanksgiving weekend in 2021 and $312 spent in 2020.
Note: As reported by the NRF, this 8% increase is measured in nominal dollars unadjusted for inflation. Because sectors have different levels of inflation (for example, gas prices have increased much more than apparel prices), simply subtracting the average inflation rate from this increase would not paint an accurate picture.
While inflation and higher prices of goods mitigate some of this growth, the sheer increase in the number of people shopping indicates a significant increase over last year.
8. 97% of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers made holiday-related purchases
According to the NRF, most people purchased gifts, food, and decor for the holidays. However, as usual, shoppers also sprung for household and personal items.
Of the average $325.44 shoppers spent over the weekend, $229.21 was on gifts.
9. Shopify merchants saw a record $7.5 billion in sales
More than 52 million shoppers purchased from Shopify stores over the BFCM weekend, an 18% increase from 2021.
Did you know?
According to the NRF, retail sales have grown month-over-month since May 2020.
10. Debit cards are the most popular payment type for the second year in a row
NRF says that 43% of shoppers used debit cards vs 38% who used credit. The Federal Reserve estimates that households have an additional $1.7 trillion in savings built up from what they had pre-pandemic.
11. Consumers are only 47% done with holiday shopping
NRF reports consumers are just under halfway done buying holiday gifts and supplies. That means retailers still have a lot of opportunities ahead this holiday season.
12. Over 20% of online Cyber Week orders were picked up in-store
Salesforce is tracking the percentage of pickup orders by the day. From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 20%–21% of online orders were picked up in-store. This is only a slight increase from previous weeks.
13. Walmart overtook Amazon for online shopping searches
CNBC reports searches for Black Friday deals skyrocketed on Walmart. Meanwhile, Amazon, historically the go-to for online deals, fell to fourth place this year behind Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s.
Inflation concerns are real, but they’re not holding shoppers back. As Matt Shay, president of NRF, said in a press call, 83% of consumers are concerned about inflation. But, the concern doesn’t always line up with action, and right now, those concerns are not reflected in consumer spending.
Consumers still have half of their holiday shopping to do. Make the most of the rest of the holiday sales season:
- Refresh your store with Christmas displays
- Implement cross-merchandising strategies to encourage upsells.
- Offer a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option at checkout
- Evaluate your customer service strategy and staffing levels
- Add a seamless click-and-collect checkout option
Just getting started? See our ultimate guide to starting a retail business.