Early Black Friday Trends – What…

Early Black Friday Trends – What Earlybird Shoppers Are Searching For

Over a million Americans were already preparing to take advantage of Peak Week deals during the month of October, providing us insight to Black Friday trends and Cyber Monday orders; but they may be less motivated by savings – and more by status.

According to Hitwise, an estimated 83,000 Americans were already searching for Cyber Monday information during the month of October and more than ten times that many people (925,000) were trying to get the scoop on this year’s Black Friday trends. While just over a third of Cyber Monday searchers are also searching for Black Friday, only three percent of Black Friday searchers are interested in Cyber Monday…thus far.

According to Hitwise, both audiences skew young, but Cyber Monday searchers are younger than Black Friday searchers. In fact, 22% of Cyber Monday searchers are ages 18-24 compared with 19% of Black Friday searchers. By comparison, only 14% of the US online adult population fall into that age group. Cyber Monday searchers are also predominantly male (60%) while Black Friday searchers are more evenly mixed (49% female/51% male).

Both groups are highly educated with 33% of each audience having a college degree or more versus 28% of the online population at large. When it comes to income, Black Friday trends searchers have more of it: 30% live in households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more. Meanwhile, Cyber Monday shoppers are more likely to fall into lower/middle income brackets with this set’s households being 16% more likely than average to earn between $40,000 and $50,000 annually; a reasonable outcome given their younger age skew.

Interestingly, neither group is especially likely to be bargain shoppers or deal-seekers; but they are early adopters and likely to be the go-to person among friends when it comes to buying new things. Hence, getting the early read on Black Friday trends and Cyber Monday sales is more likely to be driven by the status it will bring these consumers for being “in the know” as opposed to the savings aspect. Cyber Monday shoppers are likely to be especially motivated to have an inside edge on electronics items.

In fact, when looking at the online retailers each group visited during the month of October, Cyber Monday searchers were much more likely to shop at electronics sites. For instance, four percent of Cyber Monday searchers visited Lenovo.com in October versus just 2% of Black Friday searchers and 0.4% of all online adults. Likewise, 28% of Cyber Monday searchers visited Newegg.com in October versus 16% of Black Friday searchers and four percent of online adults overall. Athletic and casual shoe searches are also disproportionately more popular among Cyber Monday searchers than average.

Meanwhile, Black Friday searchers are more likely than average to shop at virtually every online retailer. But, compared to the Cyber Monday audience, Black Friday shoppers gravitate more towards housewares, apparel and cosmetics sites.

That said, both groups are heavily focused on electronics when it comes to their online search activity. For instance, Black Friday shoppers were 2,080% more likely than average to have searched for “iPad Pro 10.5” in October. “Sous vide,” “North Face jackets” and “Hatchimals” were the only non-electronic Black Friday trends among their top indexing searches. Cyber Monday shoppers were over 5,000% more likely than average to search for “PlayStation VR” and “Wii U.” Like Black Friday trends shoppers, the Cyber Monday set is also looking for “Hatchimals,” probably knowing from experience last year how quickly the season’s hottest product went out of stock.

Find out what products Hitwise predicts will be this season’s picks:

To read the full Peak Week report and learn more about the trends to watch out for click here.

Methodology: Data pulled using Hitwise over four rolling weeks ending October 28, 2017 in the Hitwise AudienceView tool. Sign up for a free demo of our AudienceView tool or click here to learn more about Hitwise.