Less time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year is one reason consumers spent more money this Black Friday than last, according to SpendTrend, a First Data payment analysis.
Black Friday kicks off the Christmas shopping season and boosts card interchange as consumers use both debit and credit cards more than usual.
In addition this year, significant numbers of retailers opened their doors on Thanksgiving in an attempt to draw consumers. That attempt seems to have worked since purchase volume over the two-day period rose 9% over the same period last year, the payments processor reported.
First Data also reported the cold, dry weather across most of the nation boosted sales, encouraging retail foot traffic for seasonal merchandise and offering consumers perfect holiday shopping weather. The Electronics sub-category saw a big jump with an increase of 9.1%, and Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book and Music Stores was the top performer with growth of 27.3%, the payments processor added.
Finally, First Data reported that many retailers had streamlined their payment processes and made it easier for consumers to make purchases.
“In addition to promotions and early openings, we saw many retailers make it even easier for consumers to shop by providing a seamless integration of in-store, online and mobile initiatives that allowed shoppers to buy products wherever and whenever,” said Krish Mantripragada, a senior vice president with First Data.
“While the start of the holiday spending season was robust, merchants will continue to monitor shoppers to see if they can sustain the spending growth through the holiday season,” Mantripragada said.