With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just a few days away, it’s time to get down to business—whether that means prioritizing your electronics wish list, downloading apps (like Slice!) to stick to your holiday budget, prepping your camping supplies for a night of waiting in line outside of Best Buy or developing strategies to sneak in some online shopping while you’re at work on Monday. Just how crazy will the busiest shopping weekend of the year be? Well, if it’s anything like last year, pretty crazy indeed.

In 2011, American shoppers beat all previous records by spending an incredible $52.4 billion over the course of Black Friday weekend, 16% more than in 2010. Last year, Slice processed millions of dollars worth of purchases and tens of thousands of online orders between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Based on these purchases, Slice has the inside scoop on where, when and how consumers shopped during the busiest retail weekend of the year. Let’s take a closer look at that data to get a sense of what we can expect in 2012.

Top merchants.

  • Amazon emerged as the giant over Black Friday weekend, securing the number one spot as the most popular merchant among Slice users. Not only did Amazon rank first on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it was also the number one merchant on Saturday and Sunday, which were slower shopping days. Not impressed yet? Amazon was singlehandedly responsible for 28% of the daily share of total spending over the course of the weekend, on average. The merchant with the next highest average daily share was Apple, at 7%.
  • Speaking of Apple, it was the second most popular merchant on Black Friday, and the third most popular on Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps surprisingly, Apple dropped to fifth place on Cyber Monday, ousted by Newegg, eBay and Walmart.
  • Rounding out the top ten were QVC, Sears, Macy’s, Home Depot, JCPenney, Costco, Kohl’s, Victoria’s Secret and HSN.

Spending patterns.

  • While total spending peaked on Black Friday, the number of orders actually peaked on Cyber Monday. Over the weekend, the number of online purchases dropped (though this is consistent with normal spending patterns) – with Sunday tallying in as the more popular day to shop.
  • The daily average spend per purchase was highest at Apple, coming in at $481 ($595 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and lowest for eBay at $55.

So, what do you think? Will Americans spend even more this year than they did last year? Will Amazon continue to rule the online shopping space, or does Apple have a chance to claim the throne with the recent releases of the iPad Mini and iPhone 5? Where do you plan on doing the bulk of your shopping this year? Leave us a comment or let us know via FacebookTwitter or Google Plus!

Whether or not you’ll be taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, chances are you’ll be doing some form of holiday shopping this year, and however you plan on tackling your list, Slice can make your life easier by organizing your e-receipts, tracking your packages, visualizing your spending activity and even alerting you if items you’ve recently purchased have gone on sale with the Price Drop Alerts feature. Visit Slice.com to learn more and download the app for iPhone or Android, if you haven’t already!

Happy Thanksgiving and, as always, happy shopping!