PMG Digital Made for Humans

Black Friday Cyber Monday Consumer Trends and Predictions

4 MINUTE READ | November 13, 2018

Black Friday Cyber Monday Consumer Trends and Predictions

Author's headshot

Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

Last year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday led to record-breaking consumer spending, and this year is predicted to be an even bigger event as e-commerce methods are expected to take home more of the pie than ever before. So much so that Deloitte’s holiday retail forecasts predict that “total retail sales will increase 5-5.6 percent, with online sales likely rising 17-22 percent during the 2018 holiday season.”


Source here.

In 2017, US holiday online sales reached over $106.1 billion and 2018 sales are projected to reach $123.4 billion. Similar to the format of our 2017 analysis, I’ve compiled PMG’s latest (TL;DR) version of what you can expect this holiday season. Above all, we predict this season to be more visually and socially driven as retailers will be relying more heavily on omnichannel strategies to capture the attention of shoppers.

Video will also continue to be at the forefront as online videos will help brands cut through the noise and influence shoppers’ purchasing decisions. As consumer expectations shifts (h/t Amazon and this year’s slew of data privacy concerns), larger consumer trends are also changing.

BFCM Predictions and Trends

Speaking of consumers, millions of Americans will still spend Black Friday huddled outside of brick and mortar stores and shopping malls waiting for the best deals, but this year, more and more shoppers will reportedly be staying home and opting to shop online instead. To give some perspective on just how many people will be out and about shopping, a joint National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey found that during Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017, close to 58 million Americans chose to shop online while only 51 million shoppers opted for shopping at physical stores. Per the NFR, this year, 50 percent of shoppers plan to pick up their online purchases in stores.

Beyond this shift from online to offline, research also indicates that:

  • It’s called Black November for a reason but shoppers are still planning to do a majority of their shopping during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday). That being said, doublecheck to ensure your Holiday Gift Guides are providing everything shoppers need to know about your products and that your strategies are fine-tuned to reach your ideal customers.

  • Consumer confidence in the economy is at an all-time high so don’t be surprised if holiday spending budgets are higher than last year.

  • 67% of e-commerce shoppers will make purchases on mobile devices, up from 59% in 2017. Because of this, optimizing your mobile site for overall user experience is critical for BFCM success.

  • More and more stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day and the data speaks for itself as heading into the 2017 holiday season, over “69% of shoppers said they planned to shop on Black Friday, and 49% planned to shop on Thanksgiving.” Make sure your store listings are up to date with the correct holiday store hours.

  • Most shoppers are still likely to do at least some research before making a purchase and interestingly enough, over ¾ of shoppers (77%) plan on shopping at the same retailers as last year for their gifts.

  • On and Google Shopping, expect Google and Amazon to fiercely price-match smart home devices and further dominate market share despite new competitors entering the field. It comes to no surprise to learn that Amazon captured 45.1% of all online transactions on Thanksgiving 2017 and over 54.9% of all online transactions on Black Friday.

Ready to join #teamAmazon? Check out our latest white paper here.

Ultimately, shoppers know what’s coming and are on the lookout for the best deals, and now, shoppers expect a seamless, personalized experience during their holiday shopping this season.

Only time will tell if these predictions hold up, but luckily, we don’t have long to wait.

Stay in touch

Bringing news to you

Subscribe to our newsletter

By clicking and subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Happy Holidays and may the odds be ever in your favor.