Cyber Monday Sales Could Top Black Friday. When Will You Shop?

Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday could draw more shoppers than Black Friday, Bankrate reports. Millennials and Gen Z are expected to drive spending.

Shoppers on multiple levels at Tysons Corner Mall on Black Friday, in Tysons Corner, VA.
Crowds of people in a multi-leveled shopping mall
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As Thanksgiving rounds the corner, retailers are rolling out deep discounts on coveted products. Whether you choose to shop on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Small Business Saturday, you’d be standing with an 81% majority of consumers who plan to shop these major sales events. A recent survey from Bankrate uncovered this year’s holiday shopping trends and preferences among shoppers. 

Cyber Monday takes first place

Out of the 2300 adults Bankrate surveyed, almost two-thirds planned to shop the Cyber Monday sales. Another 61% were planning to take advantage of Small Business Saturday. Black Friday came in last at 56%. Shopping at small businesses has become increasingly popular compared to Black Friday. 

Last year’s survey results showed that 59% of consumers preferred to shop Small Business Saturday. 2023’s results are a small uptick from last year, but almost three-quarters of consumers are planning to include small businesses in their holiday shopping at some point this year, which is a 7% increase from 2022. 

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Although the pull towards big box stores like Costco and Walmart is high, small businesses hold a few advantages in shoppers’ eyes. Almost all holiday shoppers (96%) reported that small businesses outperformed major retailers in at least one of the following areas:

  •  Unique gift ideas: 56% 
  •  Better customer service: 54% 
  •  Building a sense of community: 44% 

So when are people planning to do their holiday shopping? In September, another Bankrate survey reported that half of respondents started making their holiday purchases before Halloween. The other half of respondents planned to check off their shopping lists between November and December. 

Bankrate’s Senior Industry Analyst, Ted Rossman shared his insight on these holiday shopping trends: “With Americans seemingly in a frugal mood this holiday season due to high inflation and high interest rates, I think this will be the best discounting season in years.” 

Which generation is snatching up deals? 

An overwhelming 92% of Millennials and Gen Z are likely to participate in these shopping events compared to older generations. Meanwhile, Gen X and Baby Boomers are somewhat less enthusiastic about the sales, with an 82% and 70% participation rate, respectively. No matter which generation you fall into, it’s likely that you’ll take part in at least some of these holiday sales. 

Online vs. in-person 

Although the pandemic helped popularize online shopping options, consumers are still planning to do an equal amount of shopping online and in stores. 72% of shoppers who responded to the survey shared plans to do some of their shopping online and the same amount shared plans of shopping partly in stores. 

As Americans were still recovering from pandemic shopping habits, last year’s in-store shopping was only recorded at 65%. Still, the convenience and ease of online shopping don’t seem to be budging anytime soon. 

“Most shoppers seem to be embracing an omnichannel strategy this holiday season – they’re planning to shop online and in-person and are likely to buy from large and small businesses,” Rossman added. “I think each type of shopping offers distinct advantages, and it makes sense for consumers to cast a wide net. Cost and convenience seem to be the biggest drivers this year, as supply chain and health concerns have faded away.” 

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Seychelle Thomas
Contributing Writer

Seychelle is a seasoned financial professional turned personal finance writer. She’s passionate about empowering people to make smart financial decisions by combining 10 years of finance industry experience with solid research and a wealth of knowledge. Seychelle is also a Nav-certified credit and lending expert who has explored money topics such as debt consolidation, budgeting, credit, and lending in her work for publications including GOBankingRates, LendEDU, and Credible.