Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: What Type of Shopper Are You?
Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping!
True or not, the holidays are right around the corner and for many of us that means let the shopping begin! Historically, the day after Thanksgiving has always been the biggest shopping day of the year. Known as Black Friday since 1961, this single day of consumer spending has become one of the leading financial indicators for the overall health of the U.S. economy.
On Black Friday, shoppers travel far and wide to wait in the cold outside major retail outlets. Hard-core bargain hunters start lining up at 3:00 AM., just to be the first to burst through the doors and score huge savings on limited inventories of televisions, toys, electronic gadgets, appliances, etc. So what if you waited in a snowstorm for 3 hours and nearly got trampled in a brawl with other shoppers – you got a huge discount on your purchase!
Then Cyber Monday debuted in 2005. Hard to imagine, but at that point in time marketing experts were still looking for strategies to encourage consumers to try online shopping. Cyber Monday became the name that marketing gurus came up with to promote online sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday offered substantial online deals, promotions and discounts that were quickly embraced by shoppers who had become sick and tired of waiting in line at crowded stores on Black Friday. The success of Cyber Monday quickly spread to other countries and the rest is retail history.
Since 2005, many consumers have shifted the majority of their holiday shopping to online purchasing because of the time-saving convenience. Gone are the days of driving across town to find that the hottest toy of the season just sold out while you were stuck in a traffic jam outside the mall. Plus online shopping offers a greater selection of merchandise from a wide spectrum of retailors. There are attractive deals, promotions and a variety of shipping options. While frustrated shoppers are standing in long lines at Target, you can easily go to Target’s website and score a quick deal via your mobile device.
In 2013, Cyber Monday’s sales rose to a record $2.29 billion according to Adobe Systems. IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark put the sales increase at almost 21% over the previous year. Purchases made via mobile devices soared by 55.4% over 2012 and made up 17% of Cyber Monday’s total sales according to IBM’s e-commerce report.
In turn, the financial success of Cyber Monday can be seen in the stark contrast to Black Friday’s falling sales figures. In 2013, Black Friday’s sales fell 13.2% from the previous year according to Shopper Trak. To make up for Black Friday’s loss in sales, retailers are now expanding store hours by opening on Thanksgiving and offering the traditional Black Friday bargains over an extended number of days. Black Friday is no longer just a one day event.
So, when it comes to shopping, are you an analog or digital consumer?
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