Is the Internet Painting all Fridays Black?

Public holidays are a cornerstone of the economy for most countries. Days like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or even Independence Day are used by businesses and organizations as an opportunity to promote their products and reach a broader audience who might be otherwise engaged in a 9 to 5 job.

Black Friday is well known in the US as a great opportunity to buy discounted products and the marketing machines that power the biggest consumer brands work at full power to ensure they get a chunk of the action (and the wallet!).

I looked into some of the strongest e-commerce brands in the US using SimilarWeb data to assess how important is the traffic spike to their sites on Black Friday. Then, I compared the estimated site visits on Black Friday to the visits on the first Friday of November to get a better understanding of who are the biggest winners online.

Black Friday Traffic to Top US Retailers



The biggest gainers of web traffic in the US on Black Friday are Kohls, Target, BestBuy, JCPenney, Macy’s, ToysRus and Wallmart.

Their site activity more than tripled on Black Friday! In terms of volume of visits, BestBuy and Target take the lead, bringing more than 4 and 5 million additional site visits to their websites on Black Friday.


While Amazon and eBay also saw significant spikes of traffic (56% and 40% respectively) it’s interesting to see that in spite of the marketing campaigns around this holiday, they don’t seem to be bringing as many new users as the ‘offline’ brands. Could this be because the market is saturated? Or maybe value is so good throughout the year on this online retailers that Black Friday is just not THAT special? Can we blame the internet for painting all Fridays black?

I look forward to seeing what happens this Christmas, I’m sure shopping centers will play traditional carols and families will put decorations up but when it comes to e-commerce, I’m ready to expect the unexpected.

About the Author -

Head of Brand & Strategy for SimilarWeb. Obsessed with web measurement, the internet, pop music and great TV. Wannabe cool-hunter.

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