Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! It’s time to rev up for the holiday shopping season.
For some, these words are cause for celebration. They strike fear in the hearts of others.
Whatever the case, the race has begun, so fasten your seatbelts and pull out your wallets.
Online spending this holiday season should be through the roof
Digital spending this month and next is poised to reach $143.7 billion. This is up more than 14% from 2018 and marks a new record. Projections indicate online sales will exceed $1 billion on every day of November and December for the first time ever.
Estimates suggest that sales on Cyber Monday, which is Dec. 2, will approach or even surpass $10 billion. That’s an increase of almost 19% from last year. And revenue from Cyber Week, Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, could contribute 20% of total holiday revenue.
The National Retail Federation says 39.6 million people are considering shopping on Thanksgiving. Black Friday, which is Nov. 29, could draw as many as 114.6 million shoppers.
Online transactions account for a good share of Black Friday shopping. Last year Black Friday saw online U.S. sales of $6.2 billion, up 23% from 2018.
Yet less than half of Americans plan to participate
Despite record spending expectations, not everybody will be shopping online on these days.
Just 46% of Americans plan to make an online purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. And nearly 28% of the more than 1,000 people we surveyed said they do not plan to do so.
They may instead be spending time with friends and family. Or perhaps they’re working on these days (maybe in retail) to pay their holiday shopping bills.
It’s also possible that people who don’t plan to shop online on these days (or at least say they won’t) are reacting to the recent push against conspicuous consumption. Media reports and several retailers in recent years have encouraged people to avoid shopping on holidays.
Some brands publicize that their stores will be closed on Black Friday. Such efforts, they explain, allow more retail employees (online and offline) to stay home with friends and family and enable would-be shoppers to do the same.
But many of those who do shop will pay with debit and credit cards
According to our survey results, shoppers most frequently pay for their holiday purchases using debit cards. This payment option is the leading choice for both in-store and online transactions.
Thirty-one percent said they will buy online on Cyber Monday using a debit card. A credit card is the top choice for just more than a quarter (26%) of Cyber Monday shoppers planning to make purchases online. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they don’t plan to make any purchases online Cyber Monday. Just 7% plan to shop online at this time using an eWallet.
The preference for debit and credit cards was even higher on Black Friday.
Nearly a third (33%) of survey participants said they intend to use a debit card for Black Friday online purchases. Slightly less (30%) plan to use a credit card to do so. Fourteen percent said they will employ a mix of the two.
About a quarter (24%) said they plan to use cash for in-store Black Friday purchases. But debit and credit cards were the top choices here, too. Almost 32% of those surveyed said they would use their debit card for Nov. 29 purchases at retailers’ physical locations. Nearly 29% said they would use a credit card. Meanwhile, 12% said they would use a mix of credit and debit cards, and nearly 4% said they would employ their eWallets at brick-and-mortar locations.
More than a third will be on the lookout for connected devices
A good number of those users’ eWallets may soon live on new devices. Nearly 41% said they want to buy a connected device during the holiday shopping season.
Close to 27% said they will purchase a connected device on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas if the price is right. And 14% indicated they would buy an Alexa or Siri device, Fitbit or smartwatch, or other connected endpoint during these times regardless of the price.
More than 41% of the group said they don’t want a new connected device. But about 18% said devices are not on their holiday shopping lists because they already own one or more of them.
So, cybersecurity is now more important than ever
The fact that close to 41% of people plan to buy connected devices this holiday season illustrates the growing consumer reliance on these items. IDC estimates there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices in 2025.
People are increasingly using these devices to buy products and services both online and in-store, and they want to know that those transactions are safe and secure.
The point-of-sale devices that brick-and-mortar merchants use to ring up sales are connected as well. So are the systems online merchants use to accept transactions and fulfill product orders. And the value of credit card data stolen from online merchants is on the rise. Criminals’ average return on card-not-present data has doubled. That makes it far more attractive to hackers.
These trends point to the importance of providing core authentication technology for connected devices. They illustrate why consumers should be aware of cybersecurity and do their part to follow basic best practices, such as personalizing device security settings and only making purchases from websites that offer an encrypted connection (look for the lock icon in the address bar!) In addition, they underscore why organizations must continue to improve the security maturity of their public key infrastructure (PKI), the technology used to protect users, networks, data, and critical business systems.
Whether you plan to spend the coming days with friends and family, buying gifts for yourself and others, or a little of both, we wish you the best. And we hope you have a happy and safe experience whatever you do and wherever you and your devices go.