America's wishlist this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Written by:
November 2, 2017
Updated on March 29, 2019
Ayoub kayor // Shutterstock

What Americans Are Wishing for This Black Friday and Cyber Monday

For hardcore deal seekers, the biggest holiday in November isn't Thanksgiving, but the days after: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It's that magical time of year where shoppers can save hundreds of dollars on everything from trendy fall fashions to the latest and greatest in consumer electronics to the hottest kids' toys. Whether you're shopping for yourself or someone special on your holiday list, Black Friday offers countless opportunities for deals.

Many shoppers wait all year for these fews days of frenzied shopping and steep discounts, prompting the question: what items will be flying off the shelves this year? Using data from Statista, Stacker reviewed survey results from 1,025 adult shoppers to find out if they were using Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotions to make a purchase that they had previously held off on. We ranked each of the 14 categories surveyed by the total percentage of respondents anticipating a purchase, adding in interesting trends across age groups as well as hot products to look out for.

Read ahead to see what's expected to be the most popular shopping categories this holiday season. Who knows? It might just help you avoid the crowds when you head to the mall.

#14. DIY and home improvement products

All Respondents: 7%

18 to 29 Years Old: 11%

30 to 59 Years Old: 8%

60 Years and Older: 4%

Even hardcore fans of HGTV and Fixer Upper likely don’t have a circular saw on their Christmas wish list. Registering just under 7% as an intended purchase across all respondents, the DIY and home improvement category proves a bit too niche to generate much interest from holiday shoppers this year.

For those still looking to upgrade their homes, powerhouses like Lowe’s and Home Depot will be offering a slew of deals this Black Friday while Houzz offers a cutting-edge app that lets you view furniture and interior design changes to your home in augmented reality.

#13. Food/liquor

All Respondents: 9%

18 to 29 Years Old: 18%

30 to 59 Years Old: 9%

60 Years and Older: 2%

Unless you’re lusting after a $4,000 bottle of Glenfiddich 40-year-old single malt whiskey, a Black Friday sale at the grocery store or liquor store probably won’t save you a significant amount of money. For those looking to share a lasting gift of food or drink, subscription services for craft beerwine, or even cheese can make a great gift.

#12. Books

All Respondents: 10%

18 to 29 Years Old: 17%

30 to 59 Years Old: 13%

60 Years and Older: 4%

Is the written word dead? Maybe around the holidays it is- or people aren’t holding off on their book purchases for Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. Younger shoppers are most interested in this category by far whereas only 4% of people aged 60 and over said they were waiting to buy books around the holidays.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble will be rolling out deals throughout the holidays for those literary outliers still looking for a good read.

#11. Jewelry and watches

All Respondents: 11%

18 to 29 Years Old: 23%

30 to 59 Years Old: 10%

60 Years and Older: 3%

Rings, necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry are generally popular as holiday gifts, however Black Friday and Cyber Monday don’t prove to be particularly popular dates for purchasing. Twenty-three percent of shoppers aged 18 to 29 intend to buy jewelry or watches during the holiday shopping rush while older age groups seem to be more content with what’s already sitting in their jewelry box.

For those looking to upgrade their bling, Alex and Ani offers understated jewelry with charitable benefits while Etsy allows shoppers to tap into over 9 million items from its peer-to-peer marketplace.

#10. Furniture and decoration

All Respondents: 11%

18 to 29 Years Old: 24%

30 to 59 Years Old: 11%

60 Years and Older: 4%

The younger the shopper, the more likely they are to purchase furniture or home decor on sale this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In 2017, popular gifts might include Hearth and Hand, a new brand of home goods from Fixer Upper duo Chip and Joanna Gaines, or cozy blankets, pillows, and decor that follow the Scandinavian hygge trend.

#9. Cosmetics/fragrances/health & beauty aids

All Respondents: 13%

18 to 29 Years Old: 22%

30 to 59 Years Old: 14%

60 Years and Older: 5%

Makeup addicts and fragrance lovers can save a bundle on brands they can’t usually afford on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The percentage of shoppers who intended to purchase cosmetics, perfume or other health and beauty products decreases as age increases, likely mirroring the age of avid beauty fanatics. Either way, the question remains, will Kylie Jenner be running a sale on her cult favorite lip kits on Black Friday this year?

#8. Gift cards or gift certificates

All Respondents: 14%

18 to 29 Years Old: 22%

30 to 59 Years Old: 15%

60 Years and Older: 8%

Buying gift cards at a discount is an easy way to save money on Black Friday while still offering flexibility for the recipient. Some retailers also use gift cards as an incentive to persuade consumers to shop for other products on Black Friday: In 2016, Apple offered $150 gift cards with purchase of MacBooks and $100 gift cards with purchase of iPads. Which retailer will lead the category this year?

#7. Household appliances

All Respondents: 15%

18 to 29 Years Old: 25%

30 to 59 Years Old: 17%

60 Years and Older: 5%

Stores like Sears and JCPenney always run tons of ads for their Black Friday appliance sales, but is it doing enough to woo shoppers into making a big purchase this holiday season? Apparently yes, as 25% of 18-to 29-year-olds  expressed the interest in upgrading major appliances such as fridges or washer/dryers, and 17% of adults aged 30-to 59-years-old. 

Mr. Coffee’s Espresso Maker is a cost-effective asset for whipping up cappuccinos or lattes while Cuisinart’s Griddler & Panini Press is a classic kitchen addition for taking your sandwiches to the next level.

#6. Mobile phones/tablets and accessories

All Respondents: 19%

18 to 29 Years Old: 37%

30 to 59 Years Old: 18%

60 Years and Older: 7%

With the new release of the iPhone 8 and X, the mobile and tablets category takes the sixth spot for Black Friday/Cyber Monday wishlist. This category is strongly desired by 37% of younger generations, while only 18% of 30- to 59-year-olds and 7% of people 60 and older are looking forward to getting a new phone, tablet, or accessory during the annual sale.  

#5. Computers and accessories

All Respondents: 21%

18 to 29 Years Old: 36%

30 to 59 Years Old: 23%

60 Years and Older: 7%

With laptops usually priced anywhere between a few hundred to a thousand dollars, it's no wonder shoppers wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get a great deal on their next computer. While younger consumers were most inclined to seek out computer sales, nearly a quarter of 30- to 59 were also interested in upgrading around the holidays.  

#4. Consumer electronics, media, video and audio

All Respondents: 21%

18 to 29 Years Old: 33%

30 to 59 Years Old: 24%

60 Years and Older: 7%

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales often slash prices on big ticket electronics by hundreds of dollars, so it’s no wonder that deal seekers wait until this time of year to make high-priced purchases. Almost a quarter of 30- to 59-year-olds and a third of 18- to 29-year-olds said they intended to upgrade their tv rooms this holiday season and buy electronics, media, video, or audio on Black Friday.

This year, the Sonos One, Amazon Show, and Nintendo Switch are looking like hot gadgets for gifting.

#3. Games, toys, dolls, etc.

All Respondents: 22%

18 to 29 Years Old: 36%

30 to 59 Years Old: 24%

60 Years and Older: 8%

The “it” toy of last holiday season, cute hatching animals known as Hatchimals, became impossible to find by early December 2016. Some desperate parents resorted to shelling out thousands of dollars on eBay to get their hands on the toy, or when all else failed, blaming the shortage on Santa. Parents determined to avoid a repeat of the Hatchimals situation will want to shop early, and the fact that 24% of shoppers aged 30 to 59 said they intend to purchase toys and games on Black Friday or Cyber Monday shows they’re already thinking ahead on holiday gifting.  

This year, interactive animated toys are hotly anticipated, with FingerlingsLEGO Boost, and Hatchimals (again) expected to top Santa’s list.

#2. Clothing, textiles, shoes

All Respondents: 22%

18 to 29 Years Old: 36%

30 to 59 Years Old: 24%

60 Years and Older: 10%

People love upgrading their wardrobe around the Holidays, and shopping for clothing remains one of the most popular pastimes for all age groups around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Crowds of hundreds of people will be storming the mall before they’ve even digested their Thanksgiving dinner, with more than a third of 18- to 29-year-olds planning on buying new outfits and clothes. Nearly every fashion retailer offers deep discounts year after year, so savvy shoppers know to wait for Black Friday to reboot their style.

#1. None

All Respondents: 45%

18 to 29 Years Old: 17%

30 to 59 Years Old: 42%

60 Years and Older: 72%

The percentage of shoppers who said they weren’t interested in taking advantage of any sales this year rose across the board this year, indicating there may be a little holiday shopping fatigue growing among consumers. Still, this response goes to show the dramatic difference in shopping habits across age groups, with 83% of 18- to 29-year-olds expressing interest in at least one category while 72% of consumers 60 and older said they didn’t plan special shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday at all.

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