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Why a lot of Americans plan to shop in person for Black Friday this year

Over 90% of Americans polled plan to participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday events this year.

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Nothing to wear concept. Stressed emotional girl deciding which look to wear to cinema or restaurant while getting ready for date, feeling shocked and panic as he can't find anything in her wardrobe
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Two in five (43%) Americans miss the chaos of in-person Black Friday shopping each year.

A poll of 2,003 U.S. adults found 95% plan to participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday events for 2022, with a third planning to shop both online and in-store.

Not having to wait in lines makes online sales for both events appealing (46%), more so than avoiding COVID-19 risks (36%) and not having to stay up all night (31%) to shop in person.

But the survey, commissioned by UserTesting and conducted by OnePoll, found shopping in actual stores is en vogue again.

People who said they tend to shop holiday sales online claimed they’d be more motivated to frequent brick-and-mortar stores this year for Black Friday as long as they get instant gratification when shopping (46%) and have the availability of curbside shopping (28%).

More Gen Z respondents than millennials cited immediate fulfillment as their primary driver to shop these events in person (81% vs. 49%).

Overall, 42% said in-store Black Friday shopping holds more importance for them than it did before the pandemic, including nearly half (49%) of male respondents.

And 63% consider in-store Black Friday shopping to be a tradition.

But there are some parts of e-commerce people wish they could bring into a brick-and-mortar store, such as being able to see what aisle an item is in (51%) and using promo codes or digital coupons (47%).

Some also face barriers to partaking in this year’s in-store events, including lack of convenience due to weather conditions and long lines (34%), seeing better deals online (34%), and health and safety concerns (33%).

“The pandemic has certainly made many people nostalgic for the in-person Black Friday experience, but it’s also heightened their expectations,” said Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting. “Our research shows half of consumers who plan to shop in stores for this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday events would like smart shopping carts to navigate through the aisles and easily find products.”

Despite ongoing inflation, nearly a third (31%) expect to spend more money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday than in previous years. The average person spent $441 three years ago and plans to buy $557 worth of on-sale items in 2022.

However, their increased spending is strategic, as 48% plan to spread their holiday shopping out across a longer period of time due to economic uncertainties.

“With 42% saying they plan to shop in the metaverse this year, brands must continuously work to become more phygital, bridging the gap between the physical and digital customer experience,” Janelle added. “That includes maintaining consistent quality both in-store and online, as well as keeping consumers engaged by using features such as augmented reality, live video shopping, or digital kiosks.”

BLACK FRIDAY 2022: IN-STORE SHOPPING MOTIVATORS

  • Instant gratification (i.e. avoiding backorders and shipping delays) - 46%
  • Being able to secure items ahead of time - 42%
  • Better customer experience in-store than online - 39%
  • Better deals in-store than online - 37%
  • Not having to fight over items with other people - 37%
  • Not having to wait in a long line of people - 37%
  • Having better sales or deals in person - 36%
  • Having it organized better - 36%
  • Curbside shopping - 28%

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,003 Americans who have participated in Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday shopping was commissioned by UserTesting between September 26 and September 28, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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