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The term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia, in the early 1960s. Philadelphia police griped about the congested streets, clogged with motorists and pedestrians heading to the Army-Navy football game while looking for deals the day after Thanksgiving, calling it “Black Friday.” 

As time progressed and retailers became more savvy, they began to realize they could draw big crowds by hosting sales, and Black Friday became THE day to shop... even better than last-minute Christmas sales. 

Into the new millennium, retailers started putting their items up for sale on the morning of Thanksgiving, or email online specials to consumers days or weeks before the actual event.

The most shopped-for items are electronics and popular toys, as these may be the most drastically discounted. However, the big sales involve prices being slashed on everything from home furnishings to apparel.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Stats You Need to Know

As a wholesaler or distributor, anticipating consumer behavior will help you optimize your sales and shipping strategies. Here are some key Black Friday consumer behavior takeaways from a recent survey done by

  • Black Friday 2019 saw 93.2 million buyers online, w/ sales hitting an all-time high of $7.4 billion.
  • Black Friday 2020 online shopping surged again, to a record $9 billion.
  • 30% of all retail sales occur from Black Friday till Christmas.
  • Average savings on Black Friday specials are 37%.
  • About 40% of shoppers made online purchases on Black Friday 2019.
  • $2.9 billion worth of Black Friday sales happened through mobile phones.
  • Millennials are currently the biggest spenders on Black Friday.
  • About 50.4% of women are Black Friday shoppers.
  • Amazon accounts for more than 60% of all sales on Black Friday, in the U.S.
  • The average adult plans to spend $400 on Black Friday sales.

Most brick & mortar retailers are offering online sales as well as curbside and contactless pickup options to their customers. In an additional survey on Cyber Monday also performed by and SurveyGizmo, consumers surveyed stated they are more likely to do the following this holiday season:

  • 30% of consumers plan to shop Cyber Monday sales, followed by Black Friday sales (24%), Small Business Saturday sales (18%), Thanksgiving Week sales (15%) and Fall/Pre-Black Friday sales (13%).
  • 56% of shoppers surveyed plan to shop online only, while only 44% plan to shop in-stores.
  • 50% of those surveyed plan to use curbside and contactless pickup
  • One-third of shoppers plan to start holiday shopping earlier this year.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shipping

In addition to the data above, people participating in the survey were asked if they were concerned about shipping delays this holiday season. Surprisingly, over half (60%) of consumers stated they are not worried about shipping delays, followed by 28% of consumers who are concerned about shipping delays and will start shopping earlier, and 12% of consumers who are concerned but will not shop earlier.

This is a little glimmer of good news for business and eCommerce shippers. While consumers have their concerns about shopping in-stores, financial stress and public health, most are planning to make this holiday season a busy one as usual. Start preparing your holiday order fulfillment strategy early. Here are some Black Friday and Cyber Monday shipping tips to get you started:

  • Inventory and Supplies are key to shipping success during the peak holiday season. Go over inventory and supply data from the previous year. What inventory sold the best and what shipping supplies did you use the most? Consider having more of these items in stock, and be sure to download our free Guide to Freight Packaging to make freight packaging a breeze.
  • Communicate with your suppliers early. This is important because your suppliers will also be impacted by holiday season demand along with capacity restraints caused by the pandemic. You don’t want to be stuck without the items you need, especially during peak shipping times.
  • Return policies can be a big player in customer satisfaction even when the customer is returning an item. In fact, consumers who have good return experiences are more likely to do business with you again, so use reverse logistics to your advantage.
  • Prepare for disruptions to shipping and to business. With unpredictable winter weather on the way, you need to plan for potential disruptions. Go over your current disruption strategy and identify any holes or places you need to update.
  • Partner with a 3PL for expert shipping and logistics help. A 3PL, like FreightCenter, can help you with all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shipping needs, providing discounted freight rates, LTL and truckload shipping options, and access to innovative transportation management system

Work with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shipping Experts

We’ve helped thousands of businesses just like yours prepare and ship during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Our expert shipping agents can help you source capacity, find the right freight rates and track your holiday shipments and more.

Start by getting a free online quote or call 844-212-7447 today.

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