Last year, Black Friday turned into a shopping season with most major retailers spreading out their sales over multiple weeks, giving shoppers more time to research, shop, and save. As we approach the biggest shopping event of the year, we wanted to know how shoppers feel about the holiday and how they plan to spend their money. 

We conducted a survey of 2,000 shoppers across North America to get a better understanding of how shoppers plan to approach this year’s Black Friday shopping season.

1. Black Friday is a marathon, not a sprint

Shoppers know that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to saving money; which is a big priority this holiday shopping season. In 2020, Black Friday deals started as early as October, and this year over 60% of shoppers say they will make their purchase sooner if the right deal comes along. Three-quarters of shoppers also plan to shop across multiple days, at multiple stores.

2. Emphasis on day-to-day items

This year, there’s an emphasis on day-to-day items with two-thirds of consumers planning to purchase high-use work and entertainment items. The top items on people’s wish lists across the United States and Canada are everyday clothing, shoes, laptops/computers, and TVs. We also know that winter is on everyone’s minds, and shoppers are taking advantage of Black Friday deals to gear up for the colder months. In Canada specifically, winter gear took fifth place.

3. Budgeting is key

Most people plan to spend around the same amount as last year on both Black Friday and holiday shopping, between $100 and $500 on each (excluding food and drinks). On the other hand, 1 in 4 shoppers are ready to spend more this year, either to treat themselves or to make a big-ticket purchase. 

Getting the best deal is extremely important, as two-thirds of shoppers will be comparing prices before shopping. Weekly ads/flyers will also be important this season, with half of shoppers saying they will review paper or digital ads. As a convenient price comparison and deals-discovery tool, the Flipp app plays a significant role in shoppers’ Black Friday planning — giving retailers another opportunity to advertise their deals.

4. Online will be prevalent, but in-store shopping is alive and well

Online shopping will be prevalent this Black Friday, with 65 – 70% of shoppers planning to shop online. However, brick-and-mortar stores still play a huge role, with 60% of consumers planning to shop in-store. The two top reasons for wanting to shop in-store are to see the product in person before buying it and be able to take the item home right away — unique experiences that online has not been able to replace.

5. A time to treat yourself and others

2 out of 3 shoppers say that Black Friday is a great start to their holiday shopping, with holiday gifts top-of-mind. It’s not all about the kids, though. This year, gift giving for adults will outpace buying for children. Many will be buying gifts for their partner, parents, siblings, friends, etc. 

Although Black Friday is no longer the main event, the “Black Friday mentality” lives on. Shoppers are eager to shop and most importantly, save. They will be actively looking for deals throughout the entire season, giving retailers more opportunities to meet their customers’ needs.

Survey conducted by Flipp. A total of 2000 surveys were conducted among a nationally representative sample of US + CA adults ages 18+ that plan to make a purchase during Black Friday sales. The survey was conducted from 20-25 August 2021 using an online panel provided by Maru/BLUE.

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