SAN FRANCISCO — Google says it can help Black Friday shoppers avoid crowds and long lines as they hunt for deals on the bargain-day kickoff of the holiday shopping season.
The search giant has come up with three tips after crunching data from a sample of U.S. users who turned on location history in November and December of last year.
Tip 1: Shop in the morning, late afternoon or evening on Friday. According to Google, Black Friday store foot traffic peaks between 2 pm and 4 pm.
Tip 2: Avoid electronics and cell phone stores. Those have the highest foot traffic of the season on Black Friday. Foot traffic to electronics stores is twice as high on Black Friday than other weekends during the holiday season. At cell phone stores, the traffic is 1.6 times as high, Google says.
On the other hand, shopping malls, discount stores, superstores and department stores have the highest foot traffic on the Saturday before Christmas. Dollar stores have the most foot traffic from last-minute and stocking-stuffer shoppers on Christmas eve.
Tip 3: If you are looking for something in particular, check if the store has it in stock before venturing out. Many stores show in-store availability on their websites. Google also shows product availability for nearby stores on smartphones.
Interesting factoids: Mobile searches per user are 11% higher in electronics stores and 8% higher in department stores on Black Friday compared to other weekends during the holiday season, Google says. And holiday shoppers are expected to rely to their smartphones more than ever to research and compare products, with 82% of smartphone users pulling out their devices while in a store this year.
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