Despite the perceived notion that scores of people wake up before dawn on Black Friday to start crossing items off their gift lists, the early morning is actually one of the least crowded times to start shopping, according to Google.
Google used aggregated, anonymized data from people who had their Location History turned on to determine that foot traffic in shopping malls, department stores, and other hot spots picks up most in the late afternoon.
So, if you’re hoping to score in-store deals without dealing with total mayhem, head out either bright-n-early or right before stores close up shop for the day (or just take advantage of the numerous online deals from the comfort of your home).
Google’s research also revealed that many stores don’t actually see their biggest foot traffic spikes on Black Friday weekend.
Along with releasing a slew of shopping data (shown below), Google also just announced a new way for advertisers to measure their Black Friday success.
Starting today, advertisers will be able to see which keywords drove the most actual store visits, with the ability to view those visits by day, week, or month.
“For example, a toy store may learn that certain dolls or action figures bring in the most visitors,” Google writes. “With this insight, that toy store might invest in search terms that drive both online and offline sales, and display those products at the front of their store.”