Opinion: Cyber Monday trumps Black Friday

When it comes to holiday shopping Cyber Monday shows that snagging deals can be simpler and less stressful

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Bailey Musnicki

As Black Friday starts earlier and earlier each year—and as other retail stores face tough decisions to make Thanksgiving less about consumerism—one can’t help but wonder if Cyber Monday cure that satisfies all sides.

Chase Creech, Staff Writer

Shopping for the latest up-to-date products helps the economy grow, but from the perspective of the consumer, this eminent holiday season makes shoppers into horrific beasts that are there to be rude, conceited, and take all the items that are in the store. In recent years, consumers have pondered on whether or not it’s worth it to participate in the Black Friday holiday.

 Black Friday should be a holiday that is celebrated, but it would be much easier if companies encouraged online shopping instead of physical. With access to the internet, shopping has been made into an easier task that could be done right from the comfort of home. With the success of e-consumer businesses like Alibaba receiving more profits through the internet, this shows the importance of electronic shopping. These aspects should be implemented into the holiday.  

The Black Friday tradition that we know today came from the story that retailers would see an “entire year of operating at a loss.” Stores would supposedly earn a profit on the day after Thanksgiving. Consumers would spend their money on discounted items, resulting in a higher profit margin. This holiday would first become a phenomenon  in Philadelphia in 1961, when merchants from the city of Philadelphia and boosters, promoters of businesses, coined the term “Big Friday”. This would later be changed in the late 1980’s to the “Black Friday” term that is used now. During this time, it would become an actual holiday in America that symbolized the idea that people would go to various stores the day after Thanksgiving to buy items that were discounted, which help give these stores huge profits. 

There has been controversy surrounding the idea of stores starting Black Friday sales earlier. Walmart, for example, started “Pre-Black Friday sales” this year, where customers can get some items discounted before Black Friday.  Some feel that this defeats the purpose of Black Friday, or that it makes the stores appear pushy, encouraging you to buy at scattered, earlier times to avoid any Black Friday hassle, however, it is much easier for customers because they can purchase items at a more lenient time. 

These early shop deals are even better for consumers because if any of the items have an interest to them, people who don’t want to participate in the holiday can buy them without having to deal with the stress that comes with dealing with crowds of people. This helps those who feel Black Friday is too potentially-dangerous, or a waste of time. In 2018 people participating in Black Friday dropped by 9% compared to 2017, so many people already are less  interested in the physical shopping during Black Friday.

We also should not forget Cyber Monday. This day is for online holiday shopping, and it was the  “NRF-coined term for the Monday after Thanksgiving.” This online shopping is easier because customers don’t have to travel long distances to get the item they’re looking for or deal with the chaos that comes with it. The rise of this e-commerce holiday had grown popularity in 2014, when online sales had recorded over $2 billion, and the holiday would progressively fragment exceeding profits every year. Cyber Monday has shown the simplicity of buying items from your home.

The highest ever profitable electronic shopping day was “Singles Day,” a newly introduced Chinese holiday that celebrates shopping as a single person. It is held at midnight on November 11 and runs for 24-hours. Shoppers can buy discounted services that are provided by the Alibaba platform, Tmall. This holiday is the United States equivalent of both Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Singles day has held in-store record breaking sales. This platform gains more profit then Cyber Monday and Black Friday. In contrast to our holidays, Alibaba live streamed on all of its platforms and these livestreams included people like pop-star Taylor Swift. Alibaba had dumbfounding sales of $38.3 billion. These jaw-dropping numbers constitutes the importance of businesses owning a e-commerce website and what is more appealing for a consumer. In an age where the internet is prioritized and online shopping has become the norm to buying and selling things, it’s foolish not to have a website for a company. 

Electronic shopping and early deals should be used by more businesses. There would not be any issues like crowds of people and not receiving the bargain that customers wished for if more companies encouraged this new way of shopping. With more ways to buy the products that are available in stores, it would be important for consumers and the respective businesses to use online shopping. If the Alibaba company can pull off record sales with their holiday, then Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined should be able to receive similar earnings with implementing online-shopping deals more, and it would be easier and safer for shoppers as well.