Google Uncovers Black Friday Shopping Trends [Study]

Black Friday is less than a week away and shoppers are now more prepared than ever, as evidenced by a Google study released today that highlights the Black Friday online shopping trends for 2014.

For the study, Google pulled data from search trends and Google Consumer Surveys as well as top trending purchases from Google Express.

Holiday Mobile Shopping Skyrockets in 2014

Google predicts that the 2014 holiday season will be the most mobile-driven shopping season we have seen to date. In fact, shopping-related searches on Google from a smartphone have increased three and a half times from 2013.

Even though we’re just kicking off the holiday season, Google is currently sending more mobile traffic to online retailers per week from Google Shopping than they were doing during the peak of the holiday season last year.

Think about it: We take our smartphones with us everywhere and use them to find products before going to the store, as well as when we’re on site. The release of Target’s newly upgraded application is a prime example of providing value prior to and during the shopping experience.

According to Google, approximately 50 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds use their smartphones to shop or browse online while standing in line at another store to make a purchase. To meet that need, Google has added new mobile features to Google Shopping, which include more detailed product information and 360-degree imagery.

What Are People Searching For?

Google also has a pulse on what the top trending gifts are for the holiday season, questions individuals are asking about Black Friday, and what areas of the country are searching the most. Below is a sampling of some of the findings from Google Trends.

Google Search Queries

Some of the most important data for retailers is insight into what people are searching for. Currently, the top questions being asked are:

  • What time do stores open on Black Friday?
  • What time does Black Friday start?
  • When does Black Friday end?
  • What to buy on Black Friday?

Top Gifts

  • Game Consoles
  • Tablets
  • Wearable Technology (ex: FitBit)
  • Retro Toys including Ouija, Barbie Dream House, and My Little Pony
  • Warm Weather Gear
  • Jogger Pants

Black Friday Shoppers by Location

According to Google, 27 percent of Black Friday shoppers have already begun searching for deals online. The cities that are showing the highest volume of search thus far include:

  • Westland, MI
  • August, GA
  • Louisville, KY
  • Nashville, TN
  • Omaha, NE

What Are Top Cities Getting Delivered?


Google Express is a service that offers overnight or same-day delivery in many areas. Google has provided an overview of the top trending purchases in preparation for Thanksgiving in some of America’s biggest cities.

  • San Francisco: bananas, avocado, coconut water, and quinoa
  • West LA: disposable silverware, plastic cups, paper plates, tortilla chips, and garbage bags
  • Manhattan: cereal, almond milk, butter croissants, mini pretzels, and almonds
  • Boston: maple bacon chips, green pea crisps, and peanuts
  • Chicago: baby wipes, chocolate, sparkling juice, and orange juice
  • Washington, D.C.: whole-wheat crackers, fruit snacks, diet soda, and diced tomatoes

Not only do we now understand how Black Friday shoppers are making purchasing decisions, we also have insight into what the top trends are for the 2014 holiday season. Is there something that stood out and surprised you on this list?

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