An unusually late Thanksgiving holiday and growing interest in online deals is causing more consumers to plan their holiday shopping around Cyber Monday than Black Friday again this year, according to a recent holiday retail survey by Deloitte Consulting. The results continue a two-year trend, as shippers and logistics firms ready for an especially busy day this coming Monday, December 2.
The Deloitte study, which polled consumers on a range of holiday shopping issues and trends, found that peak holiday shopping will occur in early December rather than November due to the later-than-usual Thanksgiving holiday, with 70% of consumers saying they plan to shop in early December. And more consumers plan to shop online: 53% say they will plan their shopping around Cyber Monday compared with 44% that will plan around Black Friday, according to the report.
The researchers said that Cyber Monday has become more important than Black Friday among all generations, but noted that younger shoppers are most interested in finding online deals: 65% of Gen Z and 61% of millennials said they are "particularly interested in finding a deal on Cyber Monday to stretch their disposable income."
Supply chain companies are getting ready for the onslaught of orders. FedEx reported earlier this month that it expects to move a record 33 million packages this Cyber Monday—and that it expects to double daily volume on the following two Mondays due to anticipated increases in weekend online shopping. And although the holiday season is four days shorter than last season, FedEx said it expects operational intensity to remain the same.
UPS said it expects to deliver a record number of packages this holiday season as well, forecasting a 5% increase compared to last year's record-setting season. The logistics giant said it expects to deliver an average 32 million packages and documents per day throughout the season, which is 60% more than the roughly 20 million per day the company moves off-peak.
The Deloitte report found that online retailers are a key influence this holiday season no matter how consumers ultimately decide to place their orders. Nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they plan to browse online to get inspired, for example.
"Regardless of how they research and buy, consumers have access to more information on products, price, and promotions at their fingertips," the researchers said.