Traffic shifted in this year's 'Thanksgiving effect'

Holiday in-store traffic has shifted this year due to the "Thanksgiving effect," or retailers opening stores earlier than usual on Thanksgiving Day. According to data from shopkick, in-store traffic increased 12 percent on Thanksgiving Day over the same day in 2013.

In fact, 30 percent of all Black Friday store visits happened before midnight Pacific Time on Thanksgiving, up from 18 percent in 2013, 16 percent in 2012, and 13 percent in 2011. And the peak for in-store traffic was at 6 p.m.

On Black Friday, foot traffic peaked at 11 a.m. In comparison, foot traffic peaked at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving in 2013 and 1 p.m. on Black Friday the same year.

Early store openings on Thanksgiving led to a 9 percent increase in store trips by shopkick users who visited the same store chain on both Thursday and Friday.

"Shifts in store hours, retailers' promotion strategies and mobile usage played a major role in how shoppers went about shopping and buying over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend this year," said Cyriac Roeding, CEO and co-founder of shopkick. "We saw those store strategies work with 9 percent store incremental trips where shoppers had a reason to go visit a store on both Thursday and Friday. Walmart for example executed this well with its multiple doorbuster events at different times."

Continuing its push for in-store traffic, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) kicked off Cyber Week on Saturday after the store's highest ever three-day stretch of online traffic on orders over Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Saturday. Though traditionally a day for online deals, Walmart announced an expansion of its Cyber Monday deals to include more than 100 items that could be ordered online for same-day pickup in stores.

In addition, 84 percent of shopkick users viewed products before visiting a store versus 77 percent in 2013, and the average user viewed 650 products within the app during the week leading up to and including Black Friday.

According to the National Retail Federation's Thanksgiving Weekend Spending survey, traffic over the four days dropped 5.2 percent from 2013, and the total number of same shopper trips was also down to 233.3 million shoppers from 248.6 million last year.

For more:
-See this Shopkick press release

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