In-store foot traffic jumped by almost two-thirds in the U.S. on Black Friday, according to data revealed today by Google.
The report comes as Google continues to draw correlations between activity online and in brick-and-mortar stores, after the company launched its Store Visits metric for AdWords back in 2014. Aggregating anonymized data from Android users that have “Location History” activated on their device, Google is able to get a good idea of not only the number of people visiting physical retail outlets, but also how long they spend there. This data also serves the company’s Popular Times feature in Google Search and Maps, showing shoppers how busy a particular outlet is at specific times.
Google’s Black Friday data suggests that in-store visits jumped by 65 percent compared to the average for a November weekend day, with shoppers also spending more time in stores. Electronic outlets, in particular, saw triple the foot traffic on Black Friday, and double on Thanksgiving day, compared to usual numbers. Google also reports a duration spike for electronic stores, with shoppers spending between 35 minutes and 1.5 hours in-store, compared to the normal 25 minutes on other days in November.
The data doesn’t compare year-on-year figures, however, so it’s difficult to draw too many longer term trend-based conclusions here. Other third-party data suggested that sales and traffic at U.S. brick-and-mortar stores actually declined from last year, with online sales rising “in the double digits” on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. And a PayPal report from yesterday noted that around one-third of Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping was done on mobile, which ties in with Google’s data suggesting Black Friday heralded the “highest mobile shopping searches of any day” across the whole Thanksgiving week, with Thanksgiving day itself a “close second.”
In the two years that the Store Visits metric has been available, Google says that its online advertisers have “measured over 3 billion store visits” around the world.