Google crunched its data on store traffic patterns and came up some tips on how to reduce the horror of Black Friday shopping madness, should you dare to hit the mall on Friday.
You should actually go shopping in the morning.
While the popular image of Black Friday is a mob banging on the gates to get into a store at 5AM, Google found that foot traffic actually tends to peak in the afternoon for the majority of stores. 2 to 4pm is the worst time to be out shopping, so it advises being there either super-early or arriving for the evening shift, when most of the pushers and shovers have gone home.
And because many stores now open on Thanksgiving Day, Google says that department stores have seen a huge rise in foot traffic on Thanksgiving Eve–especially between 6-7pm.
Our tip? Stay home. Eat a lot of food. Interact with your family. Watch TV. Pet a dog or cat. Don’t go shopping. But if you must...
Many stores are actually less busy on Black Friday than on days closer to Christmas–with one big exception.
According to Google, “there are many stores that don’t see their biggest store traffic spikes on Black Friday weekend,” instead getting that spike on the Saturday before Christmas. The exception to this traffic rule is electronics stores.
Electronics and cell phone stores definitely do their biggest business on the day after Thanksgiving. Electronics stores see 2x their normal foot traffic on Black Friday, and cell phone stores do 1.6x the usual. Run. Run away. So if you don’t want to fight through rabid hordes, save your electronics shopping for another day, and pick up other items if you’re going out on Black Friday.
Or maybe you could sleep in. Meet up with friends. Take in a movie?
Here’s the whole pretty infographic Google came up with after crunching Black Friday data. We wish we lived in this mystical snowy landscape where lines to get into stores were only six people deep.
Top image via K2 Images/Shutterstock.