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Store Visits Jumped 65 Percent On Black Friday. Deals Weren’t The Only Reason

Time spent in stores also was up, says Google, and mobile search had a lot to do with the increased activity.

Consumer spending seemed pretty healthy this past Black Friday, as the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season saw average store foot traffic leap 65 percent, compared to an average weekend day in November, according to Google.

Granted, Friday is not typically a major shopping day, but within the context of the all-too-crucial period for retailers, that jump is surely a positive sign. That’s particularly true as margins for brick-and-mortar businesses are less tight compared to their e-commerce arms.

In a Think With Google analysis by Natalie Zmuda and Elizabeth Fabiani, the search giant found that the obvious categories — clothing, toy, and electronic stores were all popular destinations. But as a close look finds, clothing stores and toy stores saw more than double the foot traffic on Black Friday.

Consumers also spent more time while shopping in stores. Electronics stores, for instance, typically saw shoppers spend between 35 minutes and 1.5 hours on Black Friday compared to 25 minutes on an average weekend day in November. Shopping malls showed a similar increase in visit duration compared to the average day in November.

While it’s another obvious point to attribute the rise in store traffic and time spent to deals, it’s how people found those deals that ultimately separates the retailers who did well and the ones who did extremely well as the holiday shopping season got under way.

Shoppers turned to mobile not only to find the best deals online but also to discover the best deals in-store, Google says, pointing to Rhode Island and Delaware as having the most local shopping search interest—searches that contained “near me,” hours, and stores—of any states in the nation.