Wal-Mart Stores Inc., playing catch-up with Amazon.com Inc., is making a bigger bet on Cyber Monday. The retailer plans to start offering its Cyber Monday deals on more than 2,000 items -- four times the number of discounts it had last year -- starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time on the Sunday night before. The promotions will come in addition to its Black Friday specials, which it will begin offering online starting Thanksgiving morning. Cyber Monday -- the first Monday after Thanksgiving -- has long been touted as the day when online retailers roll out their holiday specials. But Wal-Mart and its rivals are increasingly spreading out discounts over a longer period of time. Amazon began offering special discounts on Nov. 20, a week before Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.
Physical stores will be a crucial part of a strong holiday spending season.
According to the new Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), holiday spending in 2019 will increase 4.9% from the previous year for a total of $832.3 billion. The average adult will spend $683 on holiday-related items.
The study also found that 90% of U.S. adults plan to shop in-store for gifts and other related goods, and 97% of holiday shoppers plan to shop with a retailer that has a physical presence. Promotions will drive in-store visits, with over 60% of respondents saying that searching for deals encourages them to make more trips to physical stores.
In addition, 82% of customers who pick up an online purchase in-store are likely to make an additional purchase while there. The survey also found that 87% of respondents plan to research online before going to stores, and 82% of respondents who have a mobile device will use it in-store to compare prices, get digital coupons and check inventory.
The majority of holiday shopping will take place between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, with 86% of respondents planning to complete their shopping during that time period. Additionally, almost 60% of respondents plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend, with that number jumping to 73% for millennial shoppers.