Last year, Cyber Monday became the biggest online shopping day in history, surpassing Black Friday's online sales numbers by over $100 million. That statistic was seen as another big signal of consumer shopping habits shifting online, and it wasn't the only 2016 indicator that shoppers are less reliant on Black Friday sales: For one, they started lining up later in the morning than they had in previous years, per one study.
But just as a "holiday" associated with driving to a store, waiting in line and even risking physical harm may be losing relevance, maybe shopping holidays, as a concept, are as well.
A study released Tuesday by Accenture Consulting suggests that consumers feel less beholden to shopping on either of these Thanksgiving-adjacent weekdays. Its survey found that 52 percent of shoppers felt less inclined to shop on Black Friday, with 42 percent less inclined to shop on Cyber Monday. Sixty-four percent said they were shopping for holiday gifts throughout other times of the year, specifically "due to the rise of deal websites and Amazon Prime Day," which took place in July.
Forbes also released the results of its own holiday shopping survey on Monday, which back up the notion that people — especially young people — are pretty over Black Friday. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed between the ages of 13 and 35 said they would continue their holiday shopping into the weeks following Black Friday. Forbes also found that, of those who do shop Thanksgiving week, only 35 percent of them will do the majority of their shopping on Black Friday, compared with 51 percent last year and 59 percent in 2015, simply given the fact that deals are now spread throughout the week and even November and December. Another big day for deals is apparently Green Monday, the second Monday of December, which consistently records the highest online sales for the month of December. Forbes also mentioned Prime Day as a worthy opponent of the more traditional shopping holidays.
There's also the trend of millennial-friendly brands taking a stand against Black Friday, or at least its capitalist undertones: REI, for the third time in a row, will close its doors on Black Friday and instead promote its #OptOutside campaign, encouraging people to spend time outdoors; Everlane often donates proceeds to its factory workers; and Patagonia last year donated 100 percent of Black Friday sales to environmental causes.
Of course, people are still going to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but those days are no longer the be-all-end-all of holiday shopping; rather they are simply two highly-publicized days within a larger shopping season. According to a study by Retailmenot, released in late September, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have expanded into a two-week shopping period.
If you're anything like me, you just do all your holiday shopping last-minute anyway, but if you're not and you crave the tradition or the adrenaline rush of scoring IRL deals the day after Thanksgiving, at least the lines are likely to be a bit shorter this year.