Sunday , January 24, 2021

Small Shops Prove a Refuge for Last-Minute Buyers

Small merchants are often seen as threatened by e-commerce giants like Inc. that can deliver products to consumers in some cases hours after the order is placed. But it turns out local businesses across the country still do big business on the eve of major occasions like Christmas and Mother’s Day.

A rush of last-minute shoppers made the Friday before Christmas last year the busiest day of the year small merchants (Christmas fell on a Tuesday in 2018), with revenue for the day registering 76% above the daily average for the year. The Saturday ranked only slightly behind. 

That’s according to data released Tuesday by Oto Analytics Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of marketing and customer-relationship management software. The company, which does business as Womply, ran the numbers on daily volume for more than 52,000 local shops across the country for 2018. The company’s data reflect card transactions only.

The Friday before Mother’s Day finished a close third, with dollar volume for the day 72% above the daily average for the year. In fourth place was the day before Mother’s Day, at 71%. The average ticket for the Friday was $75.75, only slightly behind the $80.50 average sale for the Friday before Christmas.

Such numbers indicate local merchants “are the preferred destination for last-minute shoppers,” Womply says in a news release about the data.

As with their big-box brethren, small merchants also do well on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday ranks fifth, with revenue 74% above the daily average and an average ticket of $79, 8% above average.

Ironically, Small Business Saturday ranks 81st, with revenue for the day just 19% above average and an average ticket of $69.99, 6% below average. The day fell on Nov. 24 last year, two days after Thanksgiving.

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