Press Release

Winter is coming: don’t bet the store on Black Friday sales to carry the season


New research from CPC Strategy indicates shift in how consumers are tackling their holiday shopping, and details what will drive purchase decisions in Q4  

San Diego, CA  —  August 24, 2017  —  CPC Strategy, a retail-focused digital marketing agency, announced today the publication of its 2017 U.S. Holiday Shopping Forecast. Last year, retailers rang up a whopping $658 billion in holiday sales. While consumer spending is forecast to remain steady, shopping habits are changing just as surely as Hatchimals will be stripped of its “must-have” status and replaced with a new toy that fuels this season’s frenzy. To help brands and retailers plan for the yuletide rush, CPC Strategy surveyed 1500 consumers about their holiday shopping plans, from how much they’ll spend to where they’ll look first. The research uncovered insights that should shape every retail advertiser’s Q4 2017 strategy — including when shoppers are most likely to start buying holiday gifts, a breakdown of how different ages and genders shop, and how Amazon influences their purchase decisions. A full report on the study’s methodology and findings, along with analysis of the results, can be found on the CPC Strategy website.

“Our survey hints that Q4 2017 may be even bigger than last year–but not in the way you’d expect,” said Rick Backus, CEO and co-founder of CPC Strategy. “More shoppers expect deals far before Black Friday or late in December. Fast and free shipping is now the baseline. The truth is, retailers and brands can’t afford to rely on the tactics they’ve used every year. Amazon has completely changed consumer expectations, for better or for worse.”

The survey was commissioned by CPC Strategy and conducted by Survata, who asked 1,500 online respondents a series of questions, including when they plan to start holiday shopping, where they plan to look for gifts, how much they plan to spend and whether they price check products and where.

Among the key findings of the report: shoppers were divided between shopping early and shopping late. In fact, more than 35% of shoppers will begin tackling their gift list before Black Friday, while 32% won’t warm up to the holiday spirit until December rolls around.   

Amazon’s wildly popular Prime Day could be part of the reason why so many shoppers opt to stock up on gifts early. This past July Prime Day sales grew by more than 50 percent.

Amazon looms large in the survey. Roughly 72% of shoppers plan to look for gifts on, and 32.0% of shoppers price check products on while in a store.

Other key takeaways:

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