By Chloe Hodge
Black Friday is widely associated with standing in horribly long lines in the blistering cold waiting for a store to open at midnight. It is also known for aggressive shoppers and amazing deals.
This age-old tradition is typically the busiest shopping day of the year. However, the digital age has once again found a way to skip passed the dreaded door openings at midnight.
According to an article by Reuters, data indicates a decline in Black Friday sales compared to previous years.
As the digital age has progressed, the swarms of shoppers brawling over the last pair of shoes has decreased. There has been a shift in the way shoppers purchase their Black Friday merchandise. Online shopping was more prominent among shoppers this year. And it makes sense! There are limitless options online and amazing deals. Personally, I shop online for Black Friday to avoid bumping into people and long checkout lanes.
According to Reuters, $822 million were spent by U.S. shoppers though online sales between midnight and 11 a.m. ET. This method of shopping saw a 15 percent increase from last year’s Black Friday. This rate is expected to rise to nearly 20 percent next year.
So, how does social media play into all of this?
First, let’s start with Pinterest. Many of the people are shopping for holiday décor when they enter the local Target on Black Friday. Because Pinterest has thousands of DIY, or “Do It Yourself”, holiday projects, why would you want to spend the extra money? Pinterest enables holiday goers to create or re-pin decorations that would cost them dollars more at retailers. Many Pinterest users create their projects from items usually found at the house.
Twitter has also proved to be a valuable tool for Black Friday shoppers. Like never before, many brands and retailers used social media to campaign for their Black Friday specials. One of the most popular hashtags used last week was #OptOutside, a campaign inspired by R.E.I.’s decision to remain closed for Black Friday so employees could enjoy the outdoors with their families. Victoria’s Secret also utilize social media, requiring followers and users to retweet or social share to unlock online deals.
I am curious to see how Reuters’ Black Friday sales predications pan out next year.