RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)– The holiday shopping season is in fill swing with many merchants already offering Black Friday deals well before that famous shopping date is even here.
Analysts believe the pandemic and people’s limited financial resources are combining to make the hunt for those deals the top priority for many shoppers.
This year, many people say they will avoid the once traditional way to holiday shop: crowding into the stores on Black Friday.
Linda Dohme is one of those who’ll shop online, saying” it’s safer and faster.”
Merchants are responding, hoping to capture as many holiday shopping dollars as they can earlier this year online.
Yael Zlatin, who is the Director of e-commerce at Adtaxi, said Black Friday deals “are happening well before Thanksgiving, 100 per cent across the board.”
A recent survey by Affirm indicates nearly half of those holiday shopping will do it from the comfort of their homes.
Shopper Michael Gupton agreed. He said he’ll “do a lot of it online due to Coronavirus. That’s where the majority of my shopping will come from.”
Those who track e-commerce say its not just millennials who are flocking to online shopping these days.
“We are also seeing huge increases in 55 plus all the way to 70 year old’s,” said Zlatin.
But, it’s not a spending free-for-all.
CoreSight Research says around 52 percent of shoppers expect their total holiday spending to be less than last year.
That means online merchants need to try new tactics.
“Instead of offering a 20 or 30 percent coupon, I’m seeing combos, and packages,” said Zlatin. “Great deals I’ve never seen before.”
Because more people are buying online, experts warn deliveries may get delayed much earlier this year.
“You’re looking at a potential doubling in the number of e-commerce orders this year,” said Ken Perkins, who is the president, Retail Metrics, Inc.
“I think this year, if consumers wait till the last minute, they’re going to be deeply disappointed,” Perkins told CBS News.
Analysts predict $190 billion will be spent online this holiday season with clothing, footwear, and electronics the top items to be purchased.