Super Saturday Shopping Predictions Are In

The last Saturday before the Christmas holiday is coming up––and retailers are expecting big things from shoppers.

More than 148 million shoppers are expected to participate in what’s known as Super Saturday, both online and in-store, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. That’s slightly down from the 150 million shoppers reported last year, but above the 147 million in 2019.

“Retailers began preparations for the holiday season months in advance, offering seasonal inventory early and taking preventative measures to circumvent supply chain challenges exacerbated by the pandemic,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers have responded with a growing eagerness to kick off the holiday shopping season early, and they expect to carry that momentum through the last few weeks of the year.”

This year’s Super Saturday falls exactly one week before Christmas, and the number of anticipated shoppers is the third-highest reported since NRF began tracking Super Saturday shoppers in 2016. 

When it comes to where shoppers plan to spend, 27% plan to shop exclusively in-store, 32% plan to shop online only and 41% plan to shop using a combination of two channels.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $997.73 this holiday season. As of early December, shoppers had completed 52% of their holiday purchases. A record 42% plan to purchase their last gift before Dec. 18, revealing that shoppers made their holiday purchases earlier than ever this year. Last year, just 40% of shoppers planned to purchase their last gift by Super Saturday, while 30% said the same in 2012. However, 52% expect they will still be picking up last-minute gifts in the week leading up to Christmas. 

Many shoppers got an early jump on their holiday purchases due to concerns around supply chain disruptions. Retailers promoted sales earlier in the season to encourage shoppers to find their first choices and avoid the possibility of products being out of stock. More than half (54%) of shoppers were shopping for the season before the Thanksgiving holiday season. 

The earlier promotions have paid off, as 71% of holiday shoppers said they have been able to find the items they are looking for most or all of the time. In addition, two-thirds of shoppers indicated they are confident or very confident they will be able to find the gifts and other items needed for the holiday season this year.

“Consumers have responded to this holiday season’s supply chain challenges with flexibility,” Phil Rist, executive vice president at Prosper, said in a statement. “When shoppers do experience difficulty finding gifts, they take a proactive approach toward alternate solutions like checking another retailer, location or channel or identifying a substitute item. Additionally, some will choose to gift cash or a gift card or even wait to see if the item comes back in stock.”

The findings were based on a survey of 7,453 adult consumers conducted between Nov. 24 and Dec. 3.