Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, and plenty of people will be out in droves trying to weather the sea of other individuals. Everyone wants to grab the best deals but no one wants to be in a crowded store full of people. Google would like to help you avoid that, which is why they've put out some useful statistics to help shoppers understand the best and worst times to be out and about picking up gifts. Surprisingly, the afternoon is the absolute worst time you could plan to go, despite what you may think about the morning being more chaotic. More specifically though, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. are the busiest for most stores. This of course varies depending on where you live and what stores you're going to.
According to Google's data, most stores are about the same around these times, but it's by far the most busy at electronic stores, cellphone stores, and discount stores, while department stores and shopping malls aren't as busy. Google's statistics also show that some stores have higher traffic on different days. Dollar stores and department stores for example, show higher traffic on the last Saturday before Christmas than on Black Friday, so if you're planning to hit up Macy's, Nordstrom, or any other department stores in your area, doing this on another weekend prior is a good idea.
Christmas eve is also a busy day for some stores, although it's probably a much better idea to do all your shopping before this point if you want the best chances at getting deals and sales before stock runs out. While most people will be busy on Thanksgiving day, department stores actually see quite a bit of traffic between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., so this might be a good time to avoid shopping as well. All of this data was tracked by Google via mobile search results, as people used their smartphones to search for items when out and about shopping for gifts at the specific store types including electronic stores, department stores, cellphone stores, shopping malls, and discount stores. If you're planning a Black Friday shopping adventure, this data should be useful.