Black Friday Foot Traffic: Which Retailer Won the Day?


For all advertisers in the retail space, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is undoubtedly here. For consumers, deep discounts and the thrill of the hunt brought many shoppers out over Thanksgiving, on Black Friday and into the following weekend.

Analyzing Foot Traffic Patterns for Major Retailers in the U.S. has also been hard at work helping our clients reach consumers as they visit different businesses with their holiday lists in hand and while they research and shop across the web. And now, with the flurry of Black Friday shopping in the rear view, we were eager to dig into the data and see how retail preferences varied by city during these important shopping days.

Specifically, we leveraged our Geo-Fencing with Event Targeting solution to pinpoint foot traffic patterns of mobile users on Thanksgiving (November 23), Black Friday (November 24) and Cyber Monday (November 27). To do this, we created virtual fences around four major retailers – Best Buy, Macy’s, Target and Walmart – in seven U.S. cities – Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Seattle, Nashville, Orlando, San Francisco and NYC.

Once the proverbial dust settled, here’s how the numbers shook out.

Thanksgiving: Shoppers Across the Country Flocked to Walmart

Hands down, Walmart is the clear winner for foot traffic on Thanksgiving Day in the majority of reported cities – likely due to last minute food needs and also consumers getting a jump start on holiday shopping. However, Orlando was a unique outlier and preferred Target on Turkey Day.

Black Friday: Best Buy Sees Highest Foot Traffic Gains


As expected, the brick-and-mortar locations we analyzed saw foot traffic increases on Black Friday. Across the four big box retail stores, on average Best Buy saw the highest increase in foot traffic on Black Friday across the seven cities (when compared with the previous Friday) – an increase of 64%. Macy’s also saw a healthy increase of 26% in foot traffic during the same period and Walmart brought in an extra 15%. Target’s foot traffic remained almost even during the time period with an increase of 2%.

While Best Buy saw the biggest increase in foot traffic gains, other stores showed a higher number of visitors in total and retail preferences clearly varied by city. More people in Chicago, Orlando and Nashville preferred Target. In Seattle, DFW and New York City, shoppers visited Macy’s and in Nashville and San Francisco, Walmart was the retailer of choice.

Cyber Monday: Overall Foot Traffic Decreased

Cyber Monday Foot Traffic Decreases
Cyber Monday is the day for online shopping and the locations we analyzed overall saw 14% less foot traffic on that day when compared with Black Friday.

However, as storefronts continued their in-store promotions over the long weekend and into Cyber Monday, users still chose to visit local stores. Macy’s and Target stores in New York City and Target stores in San Francisco actually saw an average of 193% increase in shoppers on Cyber Monday when compared with Black Friday.

Localization is Here to Stay

It’s clear that shopping habits and preferences vary by region, pointing to the importance of a localized strategy. The continued adoption and use of GPS-enabled smartphones is paving the way for higher-adoption of location-based marketing.

By using this real-time location data, advertisers can communicate with their audience to send content, offers or other location-based information in order to influence behavior: such as increase visits to a store or location.’s geofencing applications, like Event Targeting, enable advertisers to achieve precision of targeting at scale and report on verified lift of foot traffic.

While Black Friday may be in the past, despite the hype, eight out of the ten projected busiest shopping days in 2017 will fall in December, according to ShopperTrak. Key takeaway? There is still time to impact your bottom line this holiday season but you’ll need to act fast. If generating measurable foot traffic to your store is important today and into 2018, email us at to receive more information about how to use Event Targeting and take advantage of localization in your next programmatic media campaign.