Why credit options are more important to Black Friday, Cyber Monday shoppers

NEW YORK — Consumers are still planning to spend big for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but with inflation on their minds, more are also looking to use credit to finance their purchases.

The Deloitte Black Friday-Cyber Monday survey, which polled 1,200 adults in mid- to late-October, found that 48% will use credit cards to stretch their holiday budgets this year vs. 35% who did so in 2021. Additionally, 37% will opt for buy now, pay later programs, up 7 percentage points over last year.

Credit use is on the rise among all income groups, the survey showed, with the biggest jump among low-income families (50% in 2022 vs. 27% in 2021). And large purchases are being put on hold by many, as 43% said they would delay such transactions.

“While inflation continues to impact consumers at every turn, they are unwilling to let it dampen the holiday spirit,” said Nick Handrinos, vice chair, Deloitte Consulting. “Participation in the holiday weekend promotions and spending are expected to increase this year, as consumers are willing to do whatever it takes to celebrate the season, including leveraging payment options to purchase gifts.”

Deloitte’s findings show 81% of respondents are planning to spend the same or more compared with two months ago, although nearly half (48%) are doing so because of higher prices. During the five-day, bargain-focused holiday period, 80% of consumers are looking to shop vs. 71% who said so last year. Gen Z and Millennials will have the highest turnout at 86% and 89%, respectively, during the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Although Black Friday has traditionally been aimed at in-store shoppers and Cyber Monday at the online segment, the events are becoming more channel agnostic, the survey found, as 69% of consumers said retailers are offering comparable deals in-store and online. As an example, the share of online and in-store sales on Black Friday are 16% and 17%, respectively.

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