Black Friday, the one day (often weekend) per year that many look forward to and everyone working retail despises. Black Friday has been synonymous with recorded fights in Walmart over discounted televisions, or people getting trampled in clothing stores because those 50% off jeans were too irresistible. For those that don’t know, Black Friday takes place the day following Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. It was essentially formed as “the official start of the Holiday season”, and this is why it’s been a tradition for retailers to offer insane deals throughout the weekend.
So why does something like this benefit retailers? It’s as simple as the fact that by offering deals that are hard to pass up, it will drive more traffic in their stores. Drive more traffic, drive more sales, and everyone is happy. Although over the last few years consumers have been turning to the deals online rather than physically waiting in store. In 2015, between Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday (deals exclusively online the Monday after Thanksgiving), consumers spent $7.5 Billion shopping online. So what is it about Black Friday and Cyber Monday that is so appealing? Why do people go out and buy things that they generally don’t need simply because theres a 60% sale sticker on it? Why do situations like the below happen?
and then there’s Canada…
— Kelly Greig (@KellyGreig) November 25, 2016
In my opinion, Black Friday revolves around FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It’s one of those things that come around for one weekend in the year that you tell yourself “it wouldn’t hurt to check out”. This is the Black Friday Effect. You don’t want to miss out on the possibilities and this is the exact reason you feel the need to buy something once you’ve already made an effort to go the store. My work office is located in the fashion district of Toronto and as you could imagine, this made things extremely difficult when it came to not wanting to spend any money. All the retailers need to do is get you into their store and the rest handles itself.
Now, how are things shifting? Cyber Monday. The online Monday event has been a genius marketing tool to continue the Black Friday festivities, and exists solely to try and persuade shoppers to flock online for deals. It is worth nothing that it has been working extremely well, with 2015 sales reaching $3.07 Billion, which was a 16% increase from 2014.
Now is there anything wrong with Black Friday? Absolutely not. The actual intention is to simply get your holiday shopping done, and aside from the ‘casual’ Walmart fights and general selfish shopper behaviour, most use this weekend to get things they may have had their eyes on all year. I mean, sure you bought that blender for absolutely no reason, but it was 80% off…so you couldn’t resist. Right?
Do you find yourself usually wrapped in the Black Friday weekend deals or do you stay clear from it? Amongst the friends I asked, it was fairly split in the middle in terms of who went and who didn’t go shopping over the weekend. This was fairly surprising to say the least, but give me your thoughts in the comments below!
Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.