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Gear Up: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Biz Saturday, Best Seattle Deals and Dates

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While holiday shopping typically peaks around Thanksgiving, this year’s turkey feast arrives late, placing Black Friday on November 29 and Cyber Monday on the first Monday in December. 

Cyber Monday has eclipsed Black Friday in terms of importance across all generational cohorts.

As online natives, Gen Z (65 percent) and millennials (61 percent) are particularly interested in finding a deal on Cyber Monday to stretch their disposable income.

Deloitte’s 2019 Holiday Retail Survey informs that Pre-Thanksgiving shoppers plan to spend 25 percent more (US$1,660) than those that start after (US$1,239). While the early start certainly opens the wallet, shoppers still count on holiday deals and promotions.

In a survey by Robert Half Technology, 46% of Seattle workers said they plan to shop online from the office this holiday season, although 52% admitted that surfing for deals hinders their productivity. 

Shopping Habits at Work

  • 52% of Seattle workers said they plan to spend 30-60 minutes shopping at work per week
  • 79% of Seattle tech managers say their firm allows “work-shopping,” but 52% prefer employees abstain from the activity. Top concerns: security risks (66%) and loss of productivity (31%).

Two-thirds of consumers intend to begin their holiday shopping journeys at online retailers with few or no physical locations, including auction sites. Nearly the same number (58 percent) plan to use online search engines as their main source for research. Using online retail sites for research is a no-brainer, with retailers offering a breadth of products, customer reviews, and 24/7 ordering.

2/3 Online, 1/3 Mass Retail

Online retailers and mass merchants are where consumers prefer to shop during the holidays. Nearly two-thirds of consumers plan to shop at online retailers this year; over half plan on visiting a mass merchant. These two formats have remained at the top for the last five years. With the demise of major toy store chains, the toy store format has dropped from a top-five format in 2015 to the bottom.

Over the years, individuals have been changing how they shop for certain categories. The gifting of food and liquor for the holiday season has been rising, and as this trend continues, we are also seeing a 10 percent increase in the supermarket/ grocery store format. However, toys remain a top gift category year after year; online merchants, mass retailers, and other store formats are filling the void by strengthening their toy offerings.

SmartPhones & New Gen Platforms

Smartphones are becoming the go-to platform for holiday shopping. The use of smartphones to make holiday purchases has increased by 11 percent since 2017 (while use of desktop and tablets flat-lined). 

Consumers are taking advantage of quick access to products, reviews, social media, and seamless checkouts, likening smartphone shopping to a point-of-sale anywhere. What will be the next killer app in shopping? No single, emerging consumer technology, such as social commerce, voice assistance, and AR/VR has yet caught on. It will be interesting to see the impact of 5G in the coming years and how it influences the always-on mobile point-of-sale trend.

Free Shipping Day

Consumers have made their choice and fully 85 percent prefer free shipping over fast shipping. This has stayed consistent over the last three to five years. Among those shoppers who prefer free shipping, over 80 percent are willing to wait three days or more for order delivery. Almost half of consumers plan to use the buy-online-pick-up-in -store option this holiday season. 

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is smartly placed right in the middle of peak holiday shopping weekend, falling on the fourth Saturday of November — the day after Black Friday, and just two days before Cyber Monday. This year’s Small Business Saturday will fall on November 30, 2019.

Small Business Saturday/Downtown Renton Tree Lighting and Santa Arrival  Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Melrose Market Studio
The Melrose Market Studios space will be transformed into a holiday bazaar with 20 local artisan vendors curated by Seattle Made. From 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, shoppers can visit their favorite Melrose shops and restaurants as well as browse the bazaar and cross everyone off of their holiday gift list while supporting independent Seattle businesses!

Wallingford Arts and Crafts Holiday Market Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.Focus on local arts and crafts, handmade and original items, approximately 25 artists and crafters participatingFree eventMosaic Community Coffeehouse, 4401 Second Ave. N.E. #6128, Seattle

Christmas Ship Festival
Nov. 30, 6:30-9:15 p.m. 2.75-hour cruise, boarding photos with Santa, on-board community choir The Dickens Carolers of Seattle, boxed meals by FareStart available for prepurchase, kids area with crafts and activities, reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” over 21 follow boat also available$37-$50, free/ages 3 and underArgosy Cruises, 1101 Alaskan Way, Pier 55, Suite 201, Seattle

Bothell Tree Lighting Festival and Holiday Market
Dec. 1, 2-6 p.m.Market with dozens of crafters, food trucks, Santa, Christmas tree lighting. Free event;

Victorian Country Christmas
Dec. 4-8, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wed-Thurs, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri-Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Holiday music, shop in more than 500 stores, food, wine and treats, professional stage shows, lights, Santa, tickets at the gate are cash only $8.50-$13, free/ ages 5 and under 253-770-0777 Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., Puyallup

Fremont Festivus
Dec.6-8, Times varyLenin lighting, Fremont First Friday Art Walk and Bazaar on Friday, Dec.6; all ages Fremont Holiday Music Festival at Fremont Mischief Distillery on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 2 to 10 p.m., roaming holiday bazaar bingo; Fremont Sunday Holiday Market on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4p.m.

Annual Winter Festival & Crafts Fair
Dec. 7-8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Over 120 vendors, savory and sweet food, entertainment, beer and wine garden, can of food suggested donation $2/PNA members, $4/general public, free/ages 12 and under 206-783-2244
Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle

Jingle Bell Run
Dec. 8, 7 a.m. Dress in festive holiday attire, tie bells to your shoes and run (or walk) through downtown Seattle to support those living with arthritis, 12K, 5K, 1-miler, kids run, Elf Village Kids Area, Holiday Cheer Garden, register online, registration closes on Dec. 4 at midnight $20-$60
Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., Seattle