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We’ve started an annual trend here at Lab42. Every November, we run a study to try to get inside the consumer mindset when it comes to holiday spending, and more specifically, Black Friday. This year, we surveyed 500 Americans who are planning on shopping for the holidays to see what they had to say.

One of the most interesting statistics that we found demonstrates a growing pushback to stores opening early on Thanksgiving. 70% of consumers felt that stores should remain closed on Thanksgiving, up from 60% in 2012 and 68% in 2013. Many shoppers are also banking on the idea that Black Friday is not the best day to shop, with over half (53%) of respondents saying that they believe Black Friday deals will be available at another date.

Black Friday shoppers are definitely early-risers, with 26% planning on starting their shopping between midnight and 3am. Fifteen percent of Black Friday shoppers will shop between 3am and 6am, and 20 percent are planning on starting between 6am and noon. The remaining 16 percent don’t plan to get an early start on shopping, saying that they are planning to start after noon. 23% of shoppers will start on Thanksgiving Day.

When picking their favorites between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, 51% chose Black Friday, 37% selected Cyber Monday, and the remaining 12% chose Small Business Saturday as their favorite shopping holiday.

The study found that consumers are more likely to shop for themselves on Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday. 20% of Cyber Monday shoppers claim that they are shopping mostly for themselves, while only 13% of Black Friday shoppers are shopping mostly for themselves.

Traditional media is critical in getting the word out about Black Friday deals. When asked what the best way for retailers to communicate Black Friday deals, the top 3 answers were 1) TV commercials (28%), 2) social media, and 3) newspaper coupons and inserts (20%).

The study also uncovered the following key findings:

  • 74% of Black Friday shoppers purchase things on Black Friday that they want but wouldn’t normally get, while 24% said that they only purchase things that they need. The remaining 2% said that they buy things they’ve never seen before.
  • 30% of those who do not shop on Black Friday skip it because they feel the same deals will be available online. 15% think retailers will run better deals closer to the holidays.
  • 38% think retailers should open at 6am or later on Black Friday
  • Most Cyber Monday shoppers plan to shop at home (72%) while 28% plan to shop while at work.

This Lab42 survey was fielded among 500 Americans aged 18+ who are planning to purchase gifts this holiday season. The survey was conducted November 3 – 4, 2014. 

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