November 17, 2011, 4:50 PM

Thanksgiving weekend could draw in more shoppers this year than in 2010

But more than half of those shoppers want to see more retailer deals.

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Nearly all (99%) of consumers in a recent online survey fielded by deal-finding site Ebates.com cited price as at least a somewhat important factor in deciding what gifts they will buy this weekend. That budget-aware mindset is expected to drive more consumers to shop next Friday—often referred to as Black Friday and the traditional kickoff day for holiday gift buying—through Sunday than was the case last year, another survey finds.

The online survey of more than 8,000 consumers conducted in the first week of November by the National Retail Federation trade group suggests that up to 151 million consumers plan to shop online and in stores next weekend, up from 138 million who said the same last year. The trade group projects that about half of the consumers who say they plan to shop in the days following Thanksgiving, 74 million, will shop no matter what, while the remaining 77 million say they’re waiting to see if the deals retailers are offering are worth shopping for.   

Of the more than 2,400 adults who in October participated in the Ebates.com survey and said they typically bought holiday gifts, 64% said they’d shop online because e-retailers offer the best prices and deals, and 57% said they liked the convenience of shopping from home. 47% said they shopped online to avoid crowds. 70% of online gift buyers said they’re at least somewhat likely to shop online the day after Thanksgiving.

Gadgets and electronics top many consumers’ wish lists, and another survey released this week shows that consumers are hoping to score a deal on them next Friday. 32% of consumers in an online survey of 1,000 consumers in October conducted by electronics comparison shopping engine Retrevo.com said they would be looking for a Black Friday deal on tablet computers, 25% will look for a deal on an HDTV, 24% for a laptop deal and 19% for a smartphone deal. Of consumers who said they planned on shopping the day after Thanksgiving, 34% said they’d shop for deals both online and in stores that day. Online sales last year on Black Friday were up 9% from the comparable day in 2009, according to comScore Inc. 

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