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'Mobile Thursday' takes on Black Friday, Cyber Monday

The holiday shopping season begins precisely at 5:23 p.m. Eastern on Thanksgiving Day, according to an ad agency survey of deal-intent consumers.

Mobile Thursday kicks off at 5:23 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving. (Click to enlarge.)
Digitas screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

This year, some retailers are so impatient to open their doors for Black Friday that they're calling in employees to kick off the sales bonanza as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. But why wait even that long? In fact, why even get off the couch when that tablet resting on your turkey and pie-filled belly has access to both your wallet and a whole universe of deals?

Digital ad agency Digitas told its hometown paper the Boston Globe this week that its recently commissioned survey (conducted by Harris Interactive) of consumers found that 28 percent plan to shop via a mobile device this Thursday.

That's almost twice the amount of mobile shoppers that were seen last year on Black Friday, and more than five times the amount that got the jump on Cyber Monday in 2010.

So if Cyber Monday is now as much as three days too late to get first dibs on the season's best schwag, when is the official start to the holiday shopping season? That's easy, according to Digitas -- the answer is 5:23 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day. The firm has calculated that that's the exact moment when a large percentage of the East Coast population finishes dinner and heads for the couch and their devices.

As such, expect to see mobile deals from Digitas client eBay getting pushed to your device... at exactly 5:23 on Thanksgiving. The online marketplace says it will also push another batch of deals at 5:23 PT, so no need to rush through that turkey and pie, unless perhaps you're in Hawaii or Alaska.