Holiday Shopping: Trends for Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Variations in consumer behavior, device preferences and online holiday traffic provide marketers with clues on how - and when - consumers shop online during the holidays

SAN MATEO, CA (November 16, 2017) – BrightEdge, the leader in enterprise organic search and content performance, today released the BrightEdge Digital Holiday Shopping Research Report. The research, compiled using 2016 data points, provides marketers with insights to make the most of 2017 holiday shopping trends. This eight-week holiday shopping season data provides marketer with valuable clues for reaching the online consumers at the right time, on the right device and when the consumer is most likely to purchase.

Key Findings

The BrightEdge Holiday Report confirms Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the most important digital shopping days last year. However, Thanksgiving Day is quickly becoming as important as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, meaning retailers with the goal of delivering a successful holiday season must be prepared for Thanksgiving too. Some of the findings include:

  • Veterans Day is the unofficial start of the Digital Holiday Shopping Season, with online traffic beginning to spike
  • When it comes to consumer behaviors, different devices matter for different days:
    • Traffic from tablets spikes on Thanksgiving Day but still lags desktop and mobile
    • Mobile traffic dominates Black Friday as on-the-go shoppers research the best deals, locate that perfect gift, and navigate to the store with that product
    • Desktop traffic dominates Cyber Monday as shoppers make their final purchases back in the office
  • Conversion rates peak on Cyber Monday, eclipsing Black Friday by 10%
  • Throughout the entire holiday period, conversion rates are 50% higher, than non-holiday shopping times. However, conversion rates decline to pre-holiday levels roughly one week before Christmas to account for shipping time
  • Bigger screens (i.e. desktop and tablet) equate to bigger holiday orders

“During the busiest and most important time of the year it is essential that marketers make the most of the opportunity in front of them” said Kevin Bobowski, SVP, Marketing of BrightEdge. “Thanksgiving Day is quickly becoming the most important shopping day of the year –– even more important than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. A day of football, family time, and traditional turkey feasts puts consumers in the buying mood. We’ll be tracking the same metrics to monitor the changes in consumer activity from 2016 to 2017.”

The full research report and detailed findings can be downloaded here:

In the weeks following Thanksgiving Day 2017, BrightEdge will be analyzing and comparing last year's data with data from the 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday to compare year-on-year trends.

About BrightEdge

BrightEdge, the global leader in enterprise organic search and content performance, empowers marketers to transform online content into business results such as traffic, conversions, and revenue. The BrightEdge S3 platform is powered by a sophisticated deep learning engine and is the only company capable of web-wide, real-time measurement of content engagement across all digital channels, including search, social, and mobile. BrightEdge’s 1,500+ customers include global brands such as 3M, Microsoft, and Nike, as well as 57 of the Fortune 100. The company has eight offices worldwide and is headquartered in Foster City, California.


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