Black Friday and Cyber Monday: everything you need to know
Black Friday is a traditional day of sales on the fourth Friday in November. It falls between Thanksgiving (a Thursday) and the weekend. Cyber Monday, a more recent tradition, takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is one of the days in the year with the highest discounts and consumption levels.
According to one theory, business leaders in the U.S. gave their employees a day off after Thanksgiving. Many used this day to do their shopping with their families. In this way, the profits made by the companies on that day would turn their numbers from the red to the black, thus going from negative to positive.
A theory that has been proven false, is that Black Friday originated from the sale of slaves in the United States. It was supposedly one of the days with the largest sale of people. This is completely false.
Over the years, Black Friday has become an iconic day for sales. Some brands exceed their total Christmas sales during the 24 hours of Black Friday. People use this 'second' holiday to buy gifts or benefit from extraordinary discounts.
Even though they don't celebrate Thanksgiving, many countries have started their own Black Friday shopping extravaganzas. The scene on this and the previous photo, for example, is from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In the United States, customers sometimes spend part of the night after Thanksgiving in front of a store in order to get the discounted product they want.
Once the doors to the store open, it is a frenzy and obstacle course inside. Sometimes the shopping spree goes out of hand. According to the site 'blackfridaydeathcount' (a source for several news media), at least 117 people have been injured during Black Friday shopping since 2006, and 12 have died.
The success of Black Friday led to Cyber Monday. First it focused on electronics, but now stores offer other things on Cyber Monday as well. What's more, in response to the enormous crowds on traditional Black Friday sales, many shops have extended their offers for several days.
In addition, many of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have moved to online stores. Especially in a year of a pandemic, it is likely that more people will stay home and order their deals online.
And that's where the online megashop Amazon flourishes. CEO Jeff Bezos sees the sales of his company explode thanks to its promotions for Black Friday. In 2017, it had an all-time record in terms of profit (a 40% increase over the previous year).
In that year, on Friday alone, more than two million items were ordered at an average rate of 1,400 units per minute. The Top 5 products purchased were laptops, flat screen TVs, smartphones, vacuum cleaners and tablets. More than 50% of the day's turnover came from these products alone).
The sales totals are really mind-boggling. Online sales during the record year were $14.5 billion and the total was $58 billion over the course of five days of sales. An estimated 174 million people were buying stuff, the National Federation of Retailers stated. These numbers led to an average shopping cart of $335 per customer.
Among all sectors, fashion ranked high in terms of total sales. All the brands are counting on discounts to attract customers. This year, online fashion shopping is the safest and most popular bet.
The universalization of Black Friday is such that other sectors, such as optics, travel, children, food, beauty or sport, also offer more or less interesting discounts.
Until proven otherwise, technology is the sector that offers the most attractive prices. So take advantage of it! Especially as you have the whole weekend to think calmly about your potential purchases and the discounts continue on Monday, with Cyber Monday. Be patient but don't miss out on the good opportunities!
Before rushing headlong into Black Friday business, please follow a few tips to avoid scams. For example, make a list of what you really need and set a budget you don't want to exceed. Caution: don't be blinded by the impulse of the moment.
Another piece of advice is to watch prices carefully, as it is common for some retailers (even multinationals) to display the normal price with a higher price crossed out next to it to create an illusion. So don't be fooled by this trick.