Black Friday 2021: Survey Predicts 119% Increase for In-Person Shopping

woman shopping for black friday 2021

We asked 1,000 U.S. consumers when, where, and how much they plan on spending during Cyber Week including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

'Tis the season for holiday shopping. With Cyber Week 2021 quickly approaching, many are wondering how it will compare to last year's socially distanced holiday season.

While our studies predict online shopping will still reign supreme, attendance for in-person Black Friday will likely increase for the first time since 2018.

Highlights from the Black Friday 2021 survey include:

  • Online Black Friday shopping will be the biggest shopping day of the year with 57% of consumers planning to participate. 
  • 35% of Americans plan to shop in-person for Black Friday -- a 119% increase from 2020.
  • The majority of consumers typically spend $400-$599 on holiday shopping.
  • Clothing, accessories, and electronics will be the most purchased items during 2021 Cyber Week.
  • 57% of consumers agree retail locations should be closed on Thanksgiving 2021.
  • Over 1 in 3 consumers will not complete their holiday shopping until a few weeks leading up to Christmas (34%).

Keep reading for more holiday shopping insights or watch this brief video recapping the results.


Online Black Friday shopping continues to be the biggest shopping day of the year.

While the transition from brick and mortar to click and order has been a long time coming, the COVID-19 pandemic only exasperated the increased demand for eCommerce experiences. 

Cyber Week will be no different, as 52% of consumers plan to shop online for 2021 Black Friday while 35% of consumers will shop in-person. Additionally, 45% of Americans will shop on Cyber Monday making it the second-largest shopping day of 2021.

CHART - Most Popular Shopping Days  During Cyber Week 2021


In-person Black Friday shopping will see an increase in shoppers since 2018.

In last year’s 2020 Black Friday survey, in-person shopping saw the least attention with only 16% of respondents planning to physically shop at stores. 

Although the pandemic and social distancing played a large role in this low percentage, we saw the same decline in 2019.

Last year’s survey revealed 29% of consumers shopped in-person during Black Friday 2019 -- falling behind in-person Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and those who didn’t shop at all during Cyber Week. 

However, our 2021 Black Friday survey revealed 35% of Americans plan to shop in person on November 26th. That's a 119% increase from 2020 and a 21% increase from 2019.

chart showing black friday shopping from 2019-2021

Additionally, both online Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw slight decreases from 2020. In 2020, 54% of consumers shopped online for Black Friday and 49% of consumers shopped on Cyber Monday. 

Based on our data, in-person shopping on Black Friday was the only day to see an increase from 2020.


The majority of consumers typically spend $400-$599 on holiday shopping.

To makeup up for missed celebrations in 2020, 48% of consumers plan to spend more money this upcoming holiday season. 

But how much do Americans typically spend?

The majority of consumers reported typically spending $400 to $599 on holiday shopping (24%). Other pricing figures are displayed in the chart below.

chart shows how much money consumer spend on holiday shopping


Clothing, accessories, and electronics will be the most purchased items during 2021 Cyber Week.

We asked respondents what type of purchases they plan to make on Black Friday (both in-person and online), Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday. 

Top items differed across different shopping days, but clothing, accessories, and electronics were the most popular.

Below is a breakdown of what consumers plan to buy during Cyber Week.

CHART - What Consumers Plan to Purchase  During Cyber Week 2021

Black Friday (In-Person)

  • 72% of people plan to purchase clothing and accessories in-person on Black Friday.
  • 67% of U.S. consumers plan to purchase electronics. 
  • Other popular answers included toys (38%), household appliances (30%), and health and beauty items (29%).

Black Friday (Online)

  • 71% of people plan to online shop for electronics on Black Friday.
  • 65% of people plan to online shop for clothing and accessories on Black Friday.
  • Other popular answers included toys (38%), household appliances (29%), and health and beauty items (29%).

Cyber Monday

  • 66% of people plan to shop for electronics on Cyber Monday 2021.
  • 55% of people plan to shop for clothing and accessories on Cyber Monday 2021.
  • Other popular answers included toys (29%), books (23%), and health and beauty (23%).

Small Business Saturday

  • 58% of people plan to purchase clothing and accessories on Small Business Saturday 2021.
  • 36% of people plan to purchase arts and crafts on Small Business Saturday 2021.
  • Other popular answers included health and beauty (29%), books (28%), and electronics (27%).

57% of consumers agree retail locations should be closed on Thanksgiving 2021. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers like Walmart and Target kicked off their Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving. 

However, Coronavirus caused big box stores to rethink their stance on remaining open for Turkey Day as many consumers planned to stay at home in fear of large crowds. 

Although we have made great strides in taming the spread of COVID, many major retailers have announced they will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day. After all, it is a day for reflection and spending time with loved ones. 

A majority of consumers seem to be okay with retailers' new holiday hours. 

Our survey showed that 57% of consumers agree or strongly agree retail locations should be closed on Thanksgiving 2021. Only 10% of respondents strongly disagreed with stores remaining closed.

agree or strongly agree retail locations should be closed on Thanksgiving Day (57%).


Over 1 in 3 consumers will not complete their holiday shopping until a few weeks leading up to Christmas (34%). 

Although stores are selling Christmas decor earlier and earlier each year, most consumers scramble until the last minute to start shopping.

34% of people will not complete their holiday shopping until two weeks before Christmas -- with 18% waiting until the week lead up to the holiday.

Other popular answers to, "When will you complete your holiday shopping?" include:

  • 20% of consumers will complete their holiday shopping after Black Friday.
  • 16% of consumers will complete their holiday shopping after Thanksgiving.
  • 10% of consumers will complete their holiday shopping after Cyber Monday.
  • 3% of consumers will complete their holiday shopping after Small Business Saturday.

When Consumers Will Complete  Their Holiday Shopping


Survey Methodology 

Survey Methodology

  • The survey received 1,000 responses
  • Fieldwork was conducted with adult residents (18 years or older) throughout the United States.
  • Fieldwork for the survey began on October 15th and lasted united October 29th, 2021.

Respondent Profile (By Gender)

  • 44% of respondents were male.
  • 55% of respondents were female.
  • 1% of respondents were nonbinary.

Respondent Profile (By Age)

  • 5% of respondents were Generation Z.
  • 30% of respondents were Millennials.
  • 28% of respondents were Generation X.
  • 27% of respondents were Baby Boomers.
  • 10% of respondents were Traditionalists.

About Drive Research

Drive Research is a national PR survey company located in New York. Our market research firm works with a variety of organizations, helping deliver insights, action items, and ROI on their survey efforts.

Our research has been featured in top-tier media outlets including USA Today, CNBC, Forbes, Spectrum, Yahoo Finance, and Statista. 

To learn more about our market research services, contact our team today.

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emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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