Black Friday Trends and Predictions for 2019

Sep 30, 2019

The excitement of opening a gift is a fantastic feeling. Removing the ribbon, tearing off the wrapping paper… it’s an experience we all love.

What’s almost as exciting as unwrapping a gift is finally opening the paper and seeing what goodies will have deep discounts on Black Friday. After all, planning your shopping and pre-selecting items for everyone on your list can be part of the holiday fun, too.

While it’s fun to read the ads before shopping, it can also be frustrating to hope for a certain big ticket item to go on sale at your favorite store only to find out that it will still be full price that day - or worse, finding out after the fact that the best price was offered at a different store altogether!

In light of that, we’ve collected and studied sales data and observations for Black Friday and Cyber Monday over the last several years to predict what you might be able to find on sale. With this data, you can make some informed shopping decisions long before the ads are released.

When To Shop

According to our historical data, sales at most stores start ramping up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and peak on Black Friday, then they drop dramatically over the weekend. There’s a second spike in sales on Cyber Monday, then the numbers drop off again the day after.

A few stores are different, however. For example, Walmart’s sales spike on Wednesday, then drop off each day until another they see a smaller spike on Cyber Monday. In the past, Walmart has offered their special prices earlier in the week than other retailers, so this could be the reason why.

In another example, Home Depot actually saw a larger spike on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday, and the weekend sales did not drop off as much as at other stores. This is unusual, so we’ll have to see if Home Depot responds with different pricing strategies this year.

Speaking of different pricing strategies, here’s one interesting trend to note. We’re seeing more and more sales starting earlier during Thanksgiving week. This is great because it lets you get your shopping done sooner - leaving you more time to enjoy the holiday weekend with your family! Because of this, think about shopping earlier - you might be able to score great deals on Tuesday and Wednesday, too.

What Time To Shop

Gone are the days of waking up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday or camping out right after your turkey dinner to get the best prices. Now, you’re either there even earlier, or sleeping in and scooping up great deals online.

Store hours are expanding. More stores are opening on Thanksgiving or earlier on Black Friday, so there’s more time to do your in-store shopping Last year, stores such as Best Buy, GameStop, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Target, Old Navy all opened on Thanksgiving Day, so be prepared for that.

How To Shop

To shop in-store, or not to shop in-store, that is the Black Friday shopper’s question. Here’s what the trends tell us.

More people are shopping online, but the total amount of people shopping in-store dropped slightly year over year. This means stores will be slightly less busy than they were in the past, but that doesn’t mean you should rush out to scoop up deals just yet. Retailers are also paying attention to these trends, so they’re sweetening the online deals - big time.

Also, online shopping on mobile devices is on the rise. The larger big box stores are improving their mobile shopping experiences so shopping on the go will be much easier.

What To Shop For

If you’re in the market for the latest electronics, good news! This was the most popular product category on sale last year, so retailers are sure to want to repeat that success again.

If a television is on your wishlist, you’ll find a lot of entry model doorbusters as well as the fancy 4K TVs on sale. Those who want the latest and greatest will be happy to see more smart 4K TVs this year.

Need a laptop? No problem. In the past, we saw big sales on a wide range of laptops from HP and Apple, and lower cost Chromebooks. Expect more of the same this year, with more all-in-one laptops and sub-$200 laptops.

Perhaps gaming devices are at the top of your list. Here’s the good news on that front. Since the new Xbox and PlayStation models are due for release in 2020, we expect there to be deeper discounts on the latest models before the new ones arrive. The only potential bummer? A new Nintendo Switch Lite is set to release on Sept 20, but these may be too new for significant discounts yet this Black Friday. When it comes to the Switch Lite, you’ll just have to wait and see.

Now that you’re armed with this information, you can make more informed buying decisions. Have a happy (and frugal!) Thanksgiving weekend!

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