33 Million Thanksgiving Day Shoppers

Despite all of the "No Shopping on Thanksgiving Day" pledges you have likely seen on social networks like Facebook, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that 33 million consumers will be shopping on November 28th.

That said, the NRF's study forecasts that their will be a slight decrease in shoppers over the entire holiday weekend when compared to last year, with the preliminary survey suggesting there will be up to 140 million shoppers this year, compared to 147 million in 2012. Perhaps the reason for the decrease is that many consumers have already started their holiday shopping, as Thanksgiving falls on the latest day possible for the first time since 2002.

"Though many people have already started to check off items from their holiday shopping lists, we fully expect to see many more come out on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the weekend to take in the festive sights and sounds - and to take advantage of unbeatable deals," says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "As the official kick off to the holiday season, retailers are prepared to pull out all the stops for their online and in-store shoppers, including offering sweepstakes with cash prizes, free gifts with purchase and even exclusive opportunities to score top gift items before everyone else."

The survey results indicate that Black Friday will be the biggest day of the weekend, with 69.1 percent (approximately 97 million consumers) shopping on the day. Saturday, also known as Small Business Saturday, is likely to see 61 million shoppers with Sunday expected to see 34 million shoppers. Also worth noting is that seven in ten consumers who plan to shop this Thanksgiving Day claim they also did so (either in stores or online) on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

"Savvy shoppers know that the biggest shopping weekend of the year means even bigger savings, and those with specific gifts to buy will definitely be out and about or online over the holiday weekend," said Prosper's Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. "Though most will adhere to a very strict budget and will make thoughtful decisions about the gifts they purchase, it's evident that Americans are in the holiday spirit, despite their cautious approach to spending."

The survey also sheds light on how shoppers stay updated with retailer's promotions, with nearly half (49.1 percent) claiming that the check the newspapers and 33.5 percent looking for deals in their emails. In addition, 27 percent of consumers check retailers' websites and 21.9 percent look to coupon websites to find deals. Luckily, Shop.org's survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics shows that online retailers are going into the busy weekend prepared, with more than half (51.1 percent) planning to start their promotions at least five days before the holiday and 53.5 percent offering promotions specifically for Thanksgiving Day.

Moreover, retailers will deliver a variety of offers during Black Friday weekend. For example, 44.2 percent will have special email campaigns, 41.9 percent will promote one-day sales, 23.3 percent will offer free gifts with purchases, 20.9 percent will be giving free standard shipping on all purchases and another 20.9 percent will be giving discounted shipping.