In years past, Black Friday is the only day to reach its peak early in the day, with all other days peaking at 9 or 10:00 PM in the evening. Last year on Black Friday we reached peak by 11:00 AM ET, and in 2010 we hit peak by 1:00 PM ET. As I mentioned in the previous post, Black Friday may drive higher volumes all day but its peak was less than Thanksgiving night in 2011.
Black Friday tends to drive much higher peaks earlier in the day because of research activity for offline shopping in the morning hours. The overall volume on Black Friday has been higher the last year - despite the newly emerged Thanksgiving peaks - as traffic rates stay relatively high all day long. This is largely in part to mobile devices giving consumers access to content while out shopping during the day.
If this typical Black Friday pattern holds true this year, we are going through peak now at 7,099,644 page views per minute (at the time of this writing at 11:00 AM). This is just shy of the Thanksgiving peak from yesterday at 7,411,734 page views per minute.
Will the traffic patterns remain the same this year? I'll report back at the end of the day with the final Black Friday stats.