Black Friday Facts: Everything You Need to Know About the Biggest Shopping Day of the year

Video transcript: I’ve been doing some Black Friday fact research for you all and the numbers are something else. How about this one, can you guess how much Americans spend online during the Black Friday weekend? 

Hey, everyone. It’s Jessica from Oberlo. Today we’re talking about Black Friday, and the answer to that question you just heard right there, we’ll get back to it later on. First, I’ll explain Black Friday with some key facts and figures and then we’ll take a look at how Black Friday is evolving, which is particularly interesting for the online entrepreneurs out there. After that, I share my three favorite Black Friday facts about in-store shoppers. Those guys really know how to get into the Black Friday spirit.

Black Friday Facts: What Is it and When Is it?

An overheard photo of a Thanksgiving table

Black Friday is the name of the biggest sales day of the year in the United States. It takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving. But what makes Black Friday Black Friday? It’s an annual retail extravaganza. Every year, brands and retailers run special offers, deals and discounts on tons of products, and shoppers get pretty hyped about it all. So hyped that 51 percent of US internet users, said they would shop digitally at the Thanksgiving table if it meant they could “get an amazing deal”.

The origin of the term Black Friday is up for debate. There are numerous accounts about how and when the phrase first came to be, but we feel this one makes the most sense. Apparently, the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper first coined the phrase Black Friday back in 1981. The story relates to how in those days, financial accountants wrote their statements with pen and paper using red ink to record losses and black for profits. If you believe the Philadelphia Inquirer, Black Friday was the day when US retailers made so many sales that they were able to come out of the red and into the black. All thanks to the sudden and drastic increase in sales over the holiday weekend.

In recent years, Black Friday has become an integral day in the calendars of retailers. It’s no surprise that brick and mortar store owners have traditionally enjoyed the bumper profits that Black Friday brings, but this shopping extravaganza is emigrating to the virtual world. In 2016, ecommerce sales on Black Friday surpassed in-store purchases for the first time in history.

Black Friday Facts: Just How Much Money Is Made?

black Friday facts chalk board with money and credit card

Now, let’s look at some Black Friday statistics from 2017, so we can get a better idea what to expect this time around. In 2017, 174 million Americans went shopping over the Black Friday weekend, that’s over half of the country, and if these people formed a nation of Black Friday shoppers, it would be the 8th largest country by population in the world. There were 13 million online transactions during Black Friday in 2017, the days from Thanksgiving through to the following Monday, captured 20 percent of all online shopping during the holiday period.

The average spent per person over Thanksgiving weekend in 2017 was $335.47. $251 of that average was spent on gifts. Black Friday 2017 stats show that millennials were the biggest shoppers during Black Friday. The average spend for those aged 25 to 34, was $419.52. Over Black Friday weekend 2017, 64 million people did their shopping both online and in store. 58 million shopped online only and 51 million shopped exclusively in the stores. 44 percent of consumers said they planned to do their shopping online during Black Friday 2017, compared to 42 percent who prefer to shop in store. And it’s 29 percent of smartphone owners said they used their device to make a purchase.

If current trends suggest that Black Friday is moving ever closer to becoming an online event, then the infamous Black Friday crowds may be responsible. A survey from PayPal and Koski Research found that two-thirds of Americans are turned off by the holiday season crowds. And here’s the kicker: These people said they’d rather do almost anything instead of shopping, including visiting their in-laws, or going for an appointment at the DMV, which if you don’t know, it’s kind of like a cross between hell and a government agency for motor vehicles, or so I’ve heard.

The Most Popular Items on Black Friday

So what are the most popular Black Friday products? To find out, let’s take a look at what kinds of products the consumers of 2017 said they were most looking forward to finding deals for. 27 percent said devices such as laptops, tablets, PCs and TVs. 24 percent were after bargains on clothing and fashion items. 15 percent were hoping for great deals on smart home gadgets. Another 15 percent wanted special offers on toys. 11 percent said gift cards, while 8 percent got their hopes up for travel products.

Black Friday displayed on a laptop screen

How about Black Friday in other countries? Well, it seems the annual event is no longer just an American staple. Black Friday had always caused Canadian businesses great pains. Canadian retailers had to watch their customers cross the border every year to take advantage of the great deals on offer in the US. They started to resent that day so much that Canadian businesses began inventing their own Black Friday deals. And now 15 countries have their own versions of Black Friday. From Brazil in South America to the UK, France, and Norway in Europe, to India in Asia.

Black Friday Facts

Now, it’s time for my three favorite Black Friday facts and figures about in-store shoppers, because these guys cut loose in a big way.

On average, shoppers will wait in line for two and a half hours in order to get a deal in store, and with lines potentially lasting multiple hours, it may shed light on why 13 percent of Black Friday shoppers said they would be willing to pay someone to endure the lines on their behalf. If that strikes you as a strange decision, then this third Black Friday fact may do some explaining. 12 percent of Black Friday shoppers are drunk. Having said they have hit the shop floor as well under the influence of alcohol. So guys, it’s smarter to do your shopping and selling online. And on that note, I’m all out of numbers.

Hit subscribe now, so you can catch next week’s Black Friday video special. We’ll show you six proven ways to get sales on Black Friday. You won’t want to miss that one. What else would you like to know about Black Friday? Which fact was the most interesting? Tell me your thoughts on the comments and I’ll write back my response. Whether you’re shopping, selling or doing both this year, we wish you a great Black Friday 2018. Until next time, learn often, market better and sell more.

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