Super Saturday Numbers Show the Strength of Offline Retail

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Super Saturday—otherwise known by its other moniker, Panic Saturday—is the last big shopping day before Christmas.

This year, with six fewer shopping days in the season, Adobe Analytics predicted online spend to increase to $1.2 billion, showing 18% growth, with the National Retail Federation estimating that 148 million Americans would shop, up from 134.3 million in 2018.

According to data from Square, the busiest day wasn’t Super Saturday, but Dec. 7, the first Saturday in the month. Square’s report found that online sales only accounted for 9% of sales for retailers that have both an online and offline presence. Square’s numbers also point to an increased emphasis on Black Friday, and for retailers to adopt other forms of a bricks-and-clicks presence such as buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) and investing in pop-ups.

This shift on Dec. 21 is when any business owner who is only online will want to consider going into a brick and mortar pop-up, farmer’s market, or any kind of holiday market because it’s clear consumers are still spending and searching for gifts, but they want to purchase it in person and walk home with it that day,” said Felipe Chacon, an economist at Square.

The shift to offline makes sense, as shipping cutoffs started to become deadlines this past weekend. According to the NRF, only 52% of shoppers already finished their holiday shopping by early December. Sixty-two percent of shoppers expected to shop on Super Saturday, with 56% planning on buying last-minute gifts the week before Christmas. While more people planned to shop, the same fever for Black Friday—which became the biggest one ever this year with $7.4 billion in online sales—did not pan out.

For 2019, Square’s data noted that Black Friday sales were up 33% from an average Friday in November, with 2019 sales numbers still making up 12% of the total year revenue for retail sales. Adobe’s predictions still hold as well, with the company predicting 18% growth year-over-year.

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