Timing is EVERYTHING during the holiday season, and this year consumers are showing increased variation in their preferred time of day for holiday purchasing.

Key to note on Thanksgiving is that:

  • Online purchasing during AM hours was markedly less than that of a normal day

  • Total purchases then drastically rose starting at 6pm EST

  • Online purchasing activity remained at a higher volume than a non-holiday from 7pm EST

For Black Friday:

  • Online purchasing during the AM hours beat out online shopping on both a normal, non-holiday and for Thanksgiving Day until nearly 2pm EST

  • Purchasing then dropped to below the average rate of purchase of a normal day from 1pm to 5pm

  • Overall Black Friday provides a consistent purchase rate starting in the AM hours through the evening; whereas non-holiday and Thanksgiving Day show marked spikes in purchase volume

  • This could be attributed to Black Friday being, for many Americans, a day off, which allows for online shopping at any time of day. Where we see spikes in online shopping in traditional “lunchtime” hours on a normal day and during the evening hours on Thanksgiving (after dinner), Black Friday is not impacted by these rituals


This post was written by and based on data analysis from Marielle Hanke (Sr. Manager of Analytics) and Steve Wood (Optimization Analyst).