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According to the National Retail Federation’s Thanksgiving Weekend Expectations survey, more consumers are questioning whether they want to shop over the holiday weekend. While some may see these trends as a negative, digging into the data shows several findings that could prove truly advantageous to the ecommerce entrepreneur. Is your store ready? Let’s dive into the survey and find out.

Consumers are waiting to see what’s on the menu

When asked whether they planned on shopping this Thanksgiving weekend, a whopping 31.6% of all respondents answered “maybe,” compared to 29.5% who said “yes.” To help put that into perspective, that translates to an estimated 72.5 million potential customers waiting to see if any deals appeal to them before breaking out their wallets. And in their uncertainty lies  your opportunity.

While consumers say print circulars are still their go-to source for holiday deals, email remains a strong second, with 31.4% of all respondents citing email campaigns from retailers to be their primary method for tracking holiday promotions. Additionally, 24.3% rely on retailers’ websites to scout for sales.

Key takeaways: Blast those emails. Let the world know about your sales. And be sure your promotions are prominently displayed in your site’s banners.

It’s a different view at the kids’ table

Although the general population relies mostly on ad circulars, the demographic breakdown tells a different story. The data shows that the younger the demographic, the more likely they are to turn to digital media for information. In fact, for those aged 18-24, email is the number one source to find holiday sales. This demographic also ranks Facebook as very important, with 27.2% looking to the social media giant to find Thanksgiving bargains. And 27% rank retailers’ websites as another important information source. These findings are also reflected in the answers from respondents in the next youngest demographic surveyed, those aged 25-34.

Key takeaway: If your target audience is between 18 and 34, place more emphasis on email and social media channels.

Handheld devices are research-filled cornucopias

Handheld devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly more important in our day-to-day lives–and searching for Thanksgiving deals is no different. When asked how they would use their smartphone for shopping over the long weekend, the top response, at 35.8%, was to research products and compare prices. That number jumps to 46.8% when browsing from their tablet. And as with all things digital, these numbers jump to more than 50% on both smartphone and tablet if the audience segment is 18 to 34.

Surprisingly, fewer plan to buy from their handheld device. Of the general population, 29.5% plan on purchasing products from their phone, only 18% on their smartphone. Again, if the demographic is younger, these numbers increase.

Key takeaway: Make sure your store is responsive so that the site will automatically adjust based on the size of the viewer’s screen.

Is your store ready for the holidays? If not, check out our last-minute holiday tips or download our FREE holiday ecommerce guide.

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