Mobile searches containing the keywords "Black Friday" rose by 80% during the past two years. Some of those phrases include "when is black friday," "lowes black friday," and "best black friday deals," according to Google data released Tuesday.
The biggest shift in consumer behavior is seen just weeks prior to the holidays. Google's data suggests that people have become more accustomed to discovering new brands through research. Earlier in November, Google saw generic, non-branded searches outpace branded searches, with queries like "black friday ads furniture" and "black friday clothing."
Then about 2.5 weeks prior to Black Friday, consumers switched from non-branded queries and began searching for mostly branded queries such as "ashley furniture black friday" and "old navy black Friday."
Many consumers take to YouTube to research gift ideas. Black Friday haul videos have grown in popularity during the past few years. Google estimates these video views rose by more than 120% since 2015, and more retailers and brands are reaching out to influencers to get the word out.
The retail brand Pink sponsored a Victoria's Secret Black Friday haul video posted late last week by YouTube star Kyrah Stewart. In the video, she unboxes a gift from the retailer.
Google also analyzed the top trending products heading into Black Friday to get a better idea of what consumers are searching for.
The results finds they are searching for classic apparel brands like Vans, Canada Goose, and Nike Air Jordan Retro 11. They also are searching for celebrity-backed products such as Nike KD 10, Pharrell x Adidas, and Rihanna's Fenty Beauty.
The searches "where to buy" and "best times to shop" have also spiked, rising more than 85% during the past two years.
"Among the top Black Friday searches, we’re seeing searches for “cyber monday vs black friday,” “which is better black friday or cyber monday,” and “is cyber monday as good as black Friday," wrote Emily Eberhard, head of Shopping Ads Marketing at Google, in a post published Tuesday.
Black Friday also is turning into a week-long event. During the three-week period leading up to Black Friday, retailers are experiencing a larger percentage of store traffic, rather than consumers rushing into stores the day after Thanksgiving.
Research rose during the weeks prior to Thanksgiving weekend. Similar to 2016 and a few years prior, Google expects mobile transaction rates to jump 40% during the Thanksgiving weekend, compared with the rest of the year. "It’s a sign that mobile researchers are likely to become mobile buyers during the four-day holiday break," Eberhard wrote.