By: Janelle Hora
Social Media & Black Friday
Tis the season for angry shoppers and destroyed stores but as we move to a more digital lifestyle, how is black Friday holding up? Early data suggest that, “as of 8:30 am EST online sales had reached $490 million” with 57% share of visits and 40% of sales taking place on a mobile device. At the end of the shopping day, total online sales reached $3.34 billion dollars, up an impressive 21.3% over last year. Moible purchases was also up this year, racking in over $1.2 billion of the total online sales. [Source]
Social media plays a huge role in this shift of purchasing power. This year #blackfriday was trending on Twitter, and several people were sharing an array of great deals and photos of the terrifying aftermath during closing. I think by far the worst example I have come across this year is of the Nike store in Tulalip, Washington where one employee described the scene as “Jurassic Park crazy”. [Source]
[Image from @wanniemation Instagram]
The above image was shared on Instagram, along with countless other photos of the store and even a video of a woman nearly having to wade though the boxes. For some unknown reason, consumers become animalistic over the imagery of saving a few dollars.
Social media has also played a role in stores pulling back on opening on Thanksgiving. Pages such as “Boycott Black Thursday” on Facebook encourage people to pledge to not shop in store on Thanksgiving Day to encourage companies not to open and to allow their employees a non-denominational holiday to spend with families. The page also encourages its followers to leave comments and bad reviews on stores company pages to show the public pushing back on opening early.
With the way current trends are shaping up, Black Friday seems to be on its way out the door. In recent years there has been a drastic pull back from consumers to not want to deal with stores that look like the above image and rather sip on a nice glass of wine and shopping from the couch. And remember, opening early doesn’t mean the consumer has more money in their pocket.