Black Friday in the Digital Age

In light of the holiday season, we’ve been discussing “Black Friday” in my household. I was never interested in the whole shopping on Thanksgiving or the day after thing, just to wait in line for an hour and watch people tackle each other for the hottest toy of the season. However, I’ll admit that last year I ventured out to the mall around 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving, because everyone in my house was asleep.

What I discovered was interesting — the stores weren’t crowded. There weren’t long lines, people weren’t getting trampled; the mall was my oyster. Stampedes of people crashing through retailer doors that are typically shown on the 11:00 pm newscast were nowhere to be found. I was surprised, but took the experience for what it was and actually bought a few things.

I’m mentioning this now not only because Black Friday 2017 is around the corner, but because I recently read an article, Black Friday is dying, which makes my above experience make sense. With the rise of online retailers, consumers don’t have a reason to rush out after they eat their turkey dinner; they can sit back, relax and shop online from the likes of their home, and still enjoy those Black Friday savings. The article also points out that, “…with online shopping, consumers are increasingly realizing they don’t need to do all their shopping on one day.” Buyers are widening the gap in which they shop during the holidays, forcing brands and retailers to follow suit and spread out the savings over multiple weeks.

Whether you’re planning on heading out Thanksgiving night, shopping from home or waiting until after Christmas for better deals, it’s clear that technology is affecting the way consumers make purchases — including on what used to be a great night to people watch, Black Friday.

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