Here's EXACTLY when to shop, to get the best saving on a TV, laptop, toys and more

Black Friday might not be the best day to bag the best bargains – here's what Adobe's AI tool has to say about this year's holiday sales

Online shopping
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Adobe has used Sensei – its AI and machine learning framework – to make some predictions about the best times to bag a bargain on different types of products over the holiday sales period. Back in the good old days, the best Black Friday deals were on Black Friday (this year 27 November), and the best Cyber Monday deals could be found on Cyber Monday (30 Nov). But in these unprecedented times, things have become a whole lot more complicated.

With retailers launching their sales early and keeping them running for longer, and tag-on events such as Small Business Saturday (28 Nov) confusing things, it can be difficult to know when to shop for what to get the best prices. (If you're hunting for an Adobe Black Friday deal, for example, there's an early offer on already: 20% off Adobe CC All Apps).

Using Adobe Sensei to identify retail trends from trillions of data points (read about the methodology here), Adobe has come up with a number of predictions for this year's event, including the best times to shop for certain types of products, and the kinds of discounts you can expect. Here are the big takeaways:

  • Black Friday will be the best day to get discounts on appliances (discounted by 11% on average) and TVs (19%)
  • Small Business Saturday (28 November) is day to shop for the biggest discounts on computers (average discount 18%) 
  • For the best offers on sporting goods, shop on 13 Dec (27%)
  • 18 December is the best time to shop for electronics (19%)
  • For toys (20%) and furniture (10%) shop on Sunday 29 November for the best price drops
  • 26 December will see the best prices on tools and home improvement items (12%) 

You can find more insights in our guides to the best cheap laptop deals for Black Friday, the best Black Friday TV deals, and the Black Friday mattress sales

Following the general trend from recent years, but exacerbated by concerns around shipping delays, product demand and an uncertain economic environment, the sales period is looking to start earlier and last longer than ever before. Adobe says that a record 33% of consumers plan to have their holiday shopping complete by Black Friday. What's more, according to Sensei's insights, online sales will surpass $2 billion every day between 1st and 21st November, increasing to $3 billion a day from 22 Nov to 3 Dec. 

Adobe Creative Cloud

(Image credit: Adobe)

"Our data has shown that deprived of a traditional store experience since the start of the pandemic, an increasing number of consumers are flocking online at incredible speed,"commented Adobe International President Paul Robson. This phenomenon can be seen in all countries affected by long-term lockdown restrictions, and interestingly, Adobe forecasts the shift will be largely permanent. 

"Strikingly, smaller retailers and local businesses will benefit more in the coming months from this shift," he continues. "Throughout the pandemic, customers have remained loyal to their local independents, with over half of all customers committing to supporting smaller, independent businesses online this holiday season."

Finally, cheap or free shipping options will be in high demand, with 64% of consumers saying they wouldn't pay for expedited shipping this year.  Adobe predicts the cheapest shipping options will appear the day after Cyber Monday (1 Dec).

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Adobe predictions methodology

Adobe leverages Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s AI and machine learning framework, to identify retail insights from trillions of data points that flow through Adobe Analytics and Adobe Commerce Cloud, both part of Adobe Experience Cloud. Adobe Analytics analyses one trillion visits to US retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 80 of the 100 largest retailers in the US. Adobe's analysis spans large, medium and small retailers across over 50 merchandise categories, powered by Adobe Analytics and Adobe Commerce Cloud, to provide the industry’s most accurate view of online shopping in the US. Companion research is based on a survey of over 1,000 US consumers in October 2020.