MILWAUKEE, Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Most shoppers believe that the best time to shop online for Black Friday deals is on Black Friday itself. However after examining data from the past two years, the staff of GottaDeal.com, one of the largest and oldest Black Friday sites, has revealed that the best time to shop online is actually late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.
While consumers may be used to the idea of physical brick & mortar stores opening on Thanksgiving night – many stores are opening at 6pm this year – they may not be aware that the online versions of these sales typically start many hours earlier and in some cases days before.
The staff of GottaDeal.com looked at both the popularity of the deals posted on the site's homepage, measured by clicks per hour, as well as the sales generated through the links on the site. The results show that Thanksgiving is the clear winner when it comes to both the quantity and quality of online bargains.
"Many online shoppers have traditionally started their online shopping after Thanksgiving dinner," says Brad Olson, owner of GottaDeal.com. "We're trying to let them know that most of the online Black Friday sales will actually begin at midnight on Thursday, so they should be at their computer late Wednesday night getting ready. We hear from visitors each year who woke up on Thanksgiving Day only to discover the best deals had sold out."
To help shoppers who may be overwhelmed by the deals, GottaDeal.com has an online Black Friday tracker which shows a schedule of when each store is scheduled to put their Black Friday sale online, along with lists of the items that can be ordered at the sale prices. They also offer a dedicated online Black Friday message board where shoppers can discuss the online sales. Site visitors can also sign up to get emailed when new sales go live on the retailer's web site.
While Thursday and Friday are by far the biggest days, online deal hunters should also keep an eye on the deals that occur earlier in the week. "Our data showed that Monday through Wednesday of Black Friday week had some amazingly popular deals, and in many cases these deals were only offered online," says Mr. Olson.
Mr. Olson gives his tips for having a successful online Black Friday: "Plan ahead, be available on Wednesday night, and use the features on GottaDeal.com to stay informed of when sales will start so you don't miss out on the best deals."
GottaDeal.com has been covered by hundreds of media outlets including USA Today, The New York Times, TIME Magazine, CNN, MSN and others. Email and phone interviews are available, as are additional details and charts about the data used in this story.