Here’s what will drive Black Friday purchases

Black Friday shoppers prefer good old-fashioned ads.

A new survey reveals holiday shoppers’ preferred sources of information about Black Friday products and deals.

According to a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers from Bazaarvoice, ads (64%) are where respondents want to hear about Black Friday deals most, followed by social media (46%), marketing emails from brands (46%) and news articles and gift guides (42%).

Roughly half (49%) of respondents follow brands on social media to discover Black Friday deals, 45% are more likely to discover a product via social media than any other channel over Black Friday, and 25% of shoppers prefer to shop via social media over the “Cyber Weekend” (Black Friday through Cyber Monday).

More than six in 10 (63%) respondents said they expect to discover new products on social media over Cyber Weekend. Three-quarters (74%) of respondents agree that reviews impact their purchasing decisions over Cyber Weekend, while six in 0 (59%) say the same about their purchasing decisions on social media.

In addition, almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents said they feel more confident in a purchase when they use user-generated content to make a purchase decision over Cyber Weekend, and close to two in three (64%) said they trust user-generated content more than brand-provided content like product descriptions and professional product photos.

[Read more: Do shoppers still care about Black Friday and Cyber Monday?]

Where, when and what consumers shop for the holidays

  • Eight in 10 (81%) respondents said they will holiday shop in-store, while 72% said online and 22% said on social media.
  • About one in 10 (11%) respondents had already holiday shopped in July and 14% in August, while 19% will in September, 35% in October, 57% in November, and 48% in December
  • While large chain retailers (82%) are where respondents usually make holiday purchases, they are more likely to frequent small, local businesses (58%) than online-only retailers (55%).
  • Seven in 10 respondents said they are giving apparel, as holiday gifts, 51% said games and toys, 47% said electronics, 40% said food and beverages, 37% said health and beauty, and 36% said jewelry.

"It seems like every year the holiday shopping season starts sooner, and this year it’s already well underway,” said Zarina Lam Stanford, Bazaarvoice chief marketing officer. “As purse strings continue to tighten, consumers are on the lookout for deals. To engage and to inspire shoppers to purchase, brands need to ensure that they are meeting their customers with holiday deals at all of the watering holes at which they can be found: social media, e-commerce, in-store, and more."

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