Most U.S. residents are fully aware of the customs surrounding Black Friday, even if they don’t participate. It tends to be a day of madness, so some of us prefer to stay in to avoid the crowds. However, if Salesforce is correct, even more shoppers will be staying in on Black Friday this year—and shopping online instead. Of course, it would come as little surprise if Cyber Monday will no longer be the biggest online shopping day.
Salesforce offered up a set of Black Friday 2017 predictions today in a press release, and chief among them was that the traditional shopping day will probably be the biggest online shopping day—ever. In fact, the firm expects online sales on Black Friday to beat Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, which got its name because as online shopping increased, shoppers started continuing their Christmas shopping online after returning to work following the Thanksgiving holiday the week before.
Perhaps the main reason Salesforce expects Black Friday to be the biggest online shopping day is because holiday shopping tends to stretch late into the evenings. The firm said that the most popular time to shop online and place orders is between 8 and 10 p.m. This seems like an easy guess because parents probably want to place orders after putting the kids to bed.
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The firm also predicts that consumers will only have about half their holiday shopping finished by Dec. 3 and 80% finished by Dec. 15. This timeline makes sense because Jewish shoppers buying for Hanukkah will be done before then, so the holiday shopping season is front-weighted. The holiday begins on Dec. 12 and ends on Dec. 20 this year.
According to Salesforce, the shopping period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday will bring not only the deepest discounts at an average of 28% off but also the highest free shipping rate at 86% of all orders. After so-called Cyber Week, the firm predicts that Dec. 11 will have the deepest discounts and greatest free shipping availability.
Mobile shopping also continues to surpass desktop shopping as Salesforce predicts that mobile traffic to retail sites around the globe will increase to 60% of all the global online traffic, versus 34% for desktop and 5% or tablets. The firm also believes that the number of orders placed on phones will approach 40% on Black Friday and other big shopping days.
Salesforce also had a prediction for artificial intelligence around the biggest online shopping day of the year. The firm reports that 35% of Millennials say they would like to be able to search for merchandise in both physical and online stores using an image and then receive product recommendations based on that image. Further, Millennials are 2.5 times more likely than Baby Boomers to like the idea of personalized digital offers from retailers based on their previous purchases.