Final Project: Black Friday V. Cyber Monday

I am sure you have all heard of the American tradition, “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving where people line up outside of retail stores to get the best deals of the year… or at least years ago it used to be like that. Now, we live in a digital age, where “Cyber Monday” has taken over and become a more favored tradition.

I had debated on what to do for this Final project for a while, as the prompt was, “Do something on the web about the web”. I was talking to my family about this prompt on Thanksgiving, and it clicked when my grandma chimed in saying, “are we still going Black Friday shopping tomorrow?”. I personally debated on going shopping on Black Friday or saving some money and splurging on Cyber Monday. Long story short, I splurged on both, but not everyone is like that. Some prefer one or the other, and the tradition of getting little sleep on Thanksgiving night to go out to your favorite stores at the crack of dawn on Friday morning.

Black Friday started in 1951, and Cyber Monday started in 2005. Cyber Monday is still a fairly new concept, but the tradition of Black Friday is something that would be hard to replace. I am sure if you ask your parents, grandparents, or anyone older than the age of 30, they can tell you how big of a deal Black Friday once was. People camping out in front a stores in tents, crowds rushing into stores, wrestling to get the last of the products, and all of that chaos. The first time I went Black Friday shopping was when I was 12, and I remember thinking “This is it? Where are all of the people at? This year, I decided to try it out again, and it was an even bigger shock in the crowd sizes. I went to Kohls, Target, and Walmart- which looked as if it was just an average day when looking at the crowd sizes. The mall, on the other hand, was a war zone. There were lines at nearly every store, and COVID precautions did not make it easier for staff nor customers.

Speaking of COVID, can you guess what year Cyber Monday was at an all time high? Yep, you guessed it, the great. 2020! In 2020, the online sales on Cyber Monday reached $10.8 billion, making it the biggest ecommerce selling day of all time (CNBC, 2020). This represents a 15.1% increase from the total revenues of Cyber Monday in 2019 (CNBC, 2020). While this was expected, it shows how much our generation is depending on Cyber Monday and favors it.

Despite Cyber Monday’s surging popularity, Black Friday and the day after Christmas remain relatively popular shopping events (62% and 55% respectively). Euclid found that women were more excited than men about both Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. While Black Friday is still popular, it is prevalent that Cyber Monday is taking over, and I speculate that as the years go on, the turnout for in-person Black Friday shopping will die out.

Now, for what I did to test out the debate of Black Friday V. Cyber Monday… I created a survey on Survey Monkey, posted it on my Facebook and Instagram asking for my friends/followers to complete this survey for my Final Project for my Digital Studies course. I gave them 72 hours to complete the survey, then collected the data, and here were the results:

Looking at this data, you can see Cyber Monday was the preference for individuals who completed this survey, as Cyber Monday was preferred for 44% and Black Friday was preferred for 22%. Though, 25% had no preference and 8% did not prefer either. The leading factor for why they participate in Cyber Monday is that it is more convenient. In this day in age, that makes sense. It is much easier to log onto your computer/device, and add things to your cart at any time on Monday, rather than go out early Friday morning (the day after Thanksgiving at that) and physically shop. The leading factor in why people would prefer Black Friday shopping was that they enjoyed shopping in person more than online.

This year, 64% of these individuals participated in Cyber Monday, while only 36% went Black Friday shopping in person. I would say that is a pretty significant difference! In the past 5 years, 75% had participated in Cyber Monday, and 75% had participated in Black Friday. As you can see, the decrease in Black Friday shopping is seen to be trending within these individuals.

While the sample size of this survey was only 36, it helped show the point of this project. The internet is taking over, and sadly is taking away from traditions. In only 16 years, Cyber Monday has taken over the preference of Americans when it comes to the biggest sales of the year in various retail stores. This tradition of 70 years now is slowly fading away, but it seems as though it is not going anywhere any time soon.