Black Friday 2016 trends included seniors taking their shopping online, more and more of us using our smartphones to buy gifts, and longer store hours for those brave souls who decided to take on the crowds. Now you’re in the know.

Many Canadian shopaholics eagerly wait for Black Friday year after year. With the expectation of finding once-a-year deals, who can blame them? Every Black Friday, there’s an ever-growing spike in web traffic from the millions of Canadians going online to find the year’s best deals. Our website, like many others, has shown the same growth trend over the past few years. Now that you know about one trend, here are the other top 3 major trends of Black Friday 2016 that we saw in Canada last year:

1. Seniors enter the online scene

Not only is the total number of people shopping online increasing each year, but so is the age bracket of those doing the online shopping. Our analysis has shown that people 55 years-old and older are entering into the online Black Friday frenzy in larger numbers than we’ve ever seen before. As more of us (from every generation) begin to shop online, the profile of the average Black Friday shopper is changing from that of an impulsive, last-minute shopper to one who is more calculated and well-informed. As more shoppers from every age group move online, retailers will soon need to adapt their sales to our new wants and needs. This is a major Black Friday trend that will change how e-commerce retailers try to earn our business over the next few years.

2. Smartphones reign supreme

According to the latest Cisco Mobile forecasts, the continuing adoption of smart devices and the increasing prevalence 4G networks are two big factors that are quickly making smartphones the dominant platform that consumers use to shop online (which includes big shopping events like Black Friday). Cisco predicts that the number of global smartphone users will jump to 5.2 billion by 2019.

Our analysis last year found that mobile users accounted for more than one-third of the total Black Friday web traffic on our sites. Alongside Boxing Day, that represented one the highest percentages of mobile users during the year. The adoption of smartphones and other smart devices has been fast and shows no signs of slowing down. Over the past 4 years, mobile traffic has increased by 160% while desktop traffic has decreased by 30%.

Smartphone Shopping

3. Extended store hours for Black Friday

We’ve observed a tendency for shops to begin opening their doors (both online and offline) earlier and earlier each year. Unlike our southern neighbours, Black Friday does not fall on our Thanksgiving. That’s why many shops are more willing to open earlier so you can get a head start on your shopping. Looking at our data, we found that shoppers started to get excited for Black Friday at around 6 PM on Thursday. That’s a full 6 hours before the event kicks off online. We’re predicting that we will see interest starting to rise a whole 24 hours ahead of time this year.

Now that you know what the biggest Black Friday 2016 trends were, keep your eyes peeled for our next post about the trends that we expect to see this year!