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A study from GottaDeal.com, a Black Friday deal site, released information indicating that the best time for online deals may not be Black Friday after all. It may actually be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The study examined shopping data from the past two years and determined that Wednesday night into Thursday morning is the best time to shop online.
Many stores did not open their doors until 6pm on Thanksgiving night (unless they belonged to the small group of retailers open all of Thanksgiving Day, though whether shoppers like that is still up for debate), but their online deals began well in advance.
Adobe Systems data differed slightly. Its research, compiled from information based on a trillion visits to 4,500 retail websites since 2008, found that the biggest price cuts—that is, the biggest drops in price—may actually come between the Sunday and Monday before Thanksgiving. Online, shopping on Turkey Day may hold the cheapest prices over all, offering consumers discounts of an additional 24%. So early in the shopping cycle, shoppers run less of a risk of being disappointed by out-of-stock items, too.
The GottaDeal.com study also suggested that shoppers should keep their eyes on deals well into the week ahead. Once Black Friday and Cyber Monday commotion dies down, there are surprising and generous deals toward the end of the week.
Either way, half of total holiday spending will occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers and Strategy&’s “2014 Holiday Outlook.”
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