Black Friday is Big, but Last Minute Gift Shopping is Bigger

The retail industry braces itself every year for Black Friday and how the ritual signals the start of the holiday shopping season, but recent stats from Cardlytics show that its importance pales in comparison to the last few days before Christmas.

This may not come a surprise to those of us that are Christmas shopping procrastinators; it’s actually kind of human nature to leave things to the last minute. But it’s interesting to see it on a chart, like the one above.

A lot of us wait til the last minute to buy Christmas presents; it’s interesting to the behavior on a chart.

Specifically, Cardlytics found, in comparing 2013 shopping with 2014, Black Friday shoppers spent 0.8% less in 2014. Meanwhile In the week before Christmas, shoppers spent 2.0% more in 2014.

Last-minute shoppers represented 36 percent of the overall total. That means they are the largest group, and they’re getting larger,” wrote CNBCs Eric Chemi (Nov. 20). The last week before Christmas saw a 12 percent increase in spending in stores, and a 27 percent increase in online spending.

The procrastinators spend more than the early birds. Last year, the late spenders averaged $1,362 per person, which was almost a full $100 more than the early birds, who spent only $1,269 each.”

More Retailers Attempt Same-Day Delivery
In an unrelated story, the Associated Press’ Mae Anderson reported today that a growing number of retailers are offering same-day delivery services this holiday in a concerted effort to compete with e-commerce leader Amazon.

Start-up delivery service Deliv is working with Macy’s, Kohl’s, Express, Williams-Sonoma and other brick-and-mortar retailers to expand same-day delivery options,” she wrote. Macy’s offers same-day delivery in 17 cities; Kohl’s this month expanded same day deliveries from six to nine cities.”

Lots of retailers are using third-party services to enable same-day delivery this holiday season.

Another third-party service we’ve blogged about in the past, Postmates, is working with Etsy and Apple to offer same-day delivery in New York City, and in San Francisco for Apple only.

As we’ve blogged in the past, Uber is also in the mix. The company launched UberRush” in New York, San Francisco and Chicago in October. Rates vary from city to city, but in New York it costs users $3 initially and 0.25$ per mile (Editor’s note: the AP wrote $2.5 per mile, but I’m assuming that was a typo) to a maximum of $5.

On the other hand, Anderson noted, eBay shut down its eBay Now service (which launched in San Francisco in 2013 and expanded to four cities). The company said it’s now testing more relevant” delivery options for its vendors.