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November 02, 2016

The Waze Analyst team uses our wealth of data around navigation behaviors to provide brands insights unique to their industries and footprints. We know that one of the busiest navigation periods of the year in the US is during the Thanksgiving holiday. People are traveling to visit friends and relatives and taking more than one trip to the grocery store in order to prepare for the big feast. This year, we decided to dig deeper into trends around store visits, with the hope of helping customers avoid stressful shopping experiences and offering brands insights to help them better connect with consumers during this critical season.

Last-Minute Turkey Shoppers
Through Waze navigation data, we see that Americans tend to leave shopping for groceries to the very last minute and go a few times in the days leading up to the big feast. Compared to the rest of November's weekends, there's only a shopping increase of 9 percent the weekend before the holiday—whereas there's twice as much on the night before, compared with the other November Wednesdays.

Navigations to Supermarket and Grocery stores peak on Wednesday - Thanksgiving Eve of 2015
As we dig further into the data, we see that people are not rushing to supermarkets first thing in the morning. In fact, most people drive to the supermarket between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve, with the highest spike at 3:00 p.m.

Navigations to grocery stores peak on Wednesday - Thanksgiving Eve of 2015  
This last-minute rush is a golden opportunity for food, CPG, and grocery brands alike to connect with Wazers during those critical moments of need. Because we are a driving app and we know where people are going, we know that consumers on the road during those hours are likely running last-minute errands in preparation for the holiday.

Brands can use our native ads platform to communicate with the last-minute shopper who always picks up a dessert on their way to dinner, or to the person on their second errand run of the day seeking a last-minute deal.

Brands can anticipate and meet consumers' needs by making it easier to find their store or take advantage of an offer. Aligning with the core utility of Waze, grocery and retail stores could offer "early bird" incentives on the platform to get people in earlier and (hopefully) help alleviate the massive crowds that tend to pile in later in the day.

So, there you have it. People love the Turkey Day thrill of the crowds and the rush to the finish (maybe it's some kind of practice for Black Friday?)—but is your 'hood the worst offender? Tune in next week, and we'll look at which cities see the biggest changes in store visits.
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