With services like Amazon Prime, customers can now take advantage of Black Friday deals from the comfort of their own homes. They don’t have to rush out of Thanksgiving dinner to go stand in the cold with hundreds of others waiting for the doors of Best Buy, Target, Walmart, or other popular Black Friday destinations to open. They can avoid the chaos, and often ultimate disappointment, by simply ordering online. Let’s face it, Black Friday shopping is frustrating and inconvenient. You’re running the risk of standing in line for hours and being shoved my strangers, without the guarantee the item you’re looking for will still be available. Nevertheless, thousands across America are still coming out today in search of deals.
Why are so many still braving the madness in search of that perfect Christmas gift for family or friends? Is it really worth it? For many Americans, the answer is yes. According to the Washington Post, Black Friday shopping has become an American holiday tradition. The experience is tinged with nervousness but also excitement, not quite knowing what to expect when the doors finally open.
“On a day like Black Friday, it’s not about convenience. It’s purely about emotion,” said Steven Barr, a consumer market expert at PwC. “A website can’t give you goosebumps.” This doesn’t mean that people won’t be taking advantage of online sales too, but it’s just not the same as the actual physical experience.
Analytics company Deloitte conducted a survey to find out how many people are expected to utilize Black Friday sales this year during the holiday season. They discovered that in just Black Friday online sales alone, the number could reach a whopping $5.9 billion, over a 17 percent increase from 2017.
“People have responded to the early promotions that retailers have put in play to outdo the competition — from early Black Friday deals to free shipping — but the event still holds its place as a holiday tradition,” said Rod Sides, leader of Deloitte’s U.S. retail and distribution practice.
Some shoppers begin planning their Black Friday expedition weeks in advance. They start researching deals online, gathering up coupons, and compiling a list of the stores they want to hit. They strategically plan out the order of their shopping destinations, typically getting major stores like Walmart or Target out of the way first. Truly serious Black Friday shoppers know the tips and tricks to truly take advantage of all the deals. However, for some, this is simply an opportunity to gather with friends and family and enjoy a shopping outing to kick off the holiday season.