Search Data Shows Thanksgiving Day Takes Back Seat To Black Friday

There was optimism heading into Black Friday as consumers tried to celebrate a more “normal” holiday season.

The data that got consumers thinking whether to save or spend, based on economic predictions that the U.S. would fall into a recession in 2023, sent conflicting messages to marketers.  

Marketing companies released lots of data Monday related to search and ecommerce -- specifically Searchspring and Criteo.

Searchspring, which analyzes search requests across retail sites across its customer base, evaluated millions of ecommerce site searches across its customer base.

The data does not reveal surprising trends, but does show a return to pre-COVID-19 style gatherings. From November 24, 2022 through November 25, 2022, the company found that searches on Thanksgiving Day fell by 31% year-over-year, but Black Friday searches rose by 68%.

As concerns about inflation rose, consumers looked for the word “sale” -- the 10th-most commonly searched word this year compared with last year, when the term ranked 35th.



“Cozy knit,” “cozy,” and “leggings” were all included in the top six search terms during this time period.

Mobile searches rose by 80%. In fact, on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, Searchspring processed 15,967,405 mobile searches in 2022, compared with 8,888,896 in 2021.

Desktop searches rose by 35%.

Searches for “Disney” fell this year. In 2021, “Disney” ranked No. 17 as the most searched term, but this year the popular brand came in at No. 34.

More interesting, consumers are thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day. Some 16,100 shoppers searched for “Valentine’s containers” during the weekend.

Criteo pulled its data from more than 500 U.S. retailers who partner with the company, accounting for over 700 million transactions in Q4 2021 and Q4 2022, all devices combined, except where otherwise noted.

On Black Friday is Cyber Friday, Criteo said data from omnichannel retailers in the U.S., retailers with an online and in-store presence, shows that physical store transactions rose by 64.5% in the U.S. during Black Friday 2022, and up a 356% online. One year ago, the same retailers only saw an increase of 144% of online transactions. Sales were compared to an average in October 1- through October 28 for each year. 

Analyzing data from 5,400 retailers in 60 countries on Black Friday 2022, the number of online transactions was up 4.8% compared with Black Friday 2021. In the U.S., online transactions rose 7.4% compared with Black Friday 2022.

In the U.S., traffic on retail websites rose 9% year over year (YoY) during the seven days leading to Black Friday, product page views during November 18 through November 24 2022, compared with November 19, through November 25, 2021, suggesting a high intent to purchase during the Black Friday weekend.

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