Cyber Space or Shopping Mall?

With today's technology, shopping has become easier than ever; you can watch television on the couch while simultaneously shopping for a new pair of boots. With one click, you have access to every store imaginable, even if it isn’t in the same country, so why is Black Friday such a big ordeal? People wait outside of a store for hours in the freezing cold just to get the new, big deals that a store may offer. However, many stores have embraced the new trend of online shopping, and have offered the same or better deals online.

The concept of online shopping has skyrocketed over the past few years, with companies like Amazon, Ebay, and Target encouraging consumers to discover the possibilities that online shopping brings to the table by offering special discounts and rewards. While shopping at some stores, like Target, can be done online or in store, some stores are exclusively online. For some people, online shopping is convenient with their schedules, and it can be less hectic. There is even an online equivalent of Black Friday called Cyber Monday. In 2017, $6.6 billion was spent online for general purposes (Adobe Digital Insights), and on Black Friday, $5 billion was spent online in correlation with the holiday. Online shopping is getting bigger and bigger; today, you can order food online and have it delivered, and you can even do your grocery shopping online. The use of technology for shopping will continue to increase as technology becomes more available to providers, customers, and consumers.

In-store Black Friday shopping appeals to consumers because they like the feel of traditional holiday shopping. Shopping online with friends isn’t the same as going to the mall for the day. Stores like Kohl’s have tried to keep the traditional Black Friday alive, by offering sales that must be redeemed in-store. Traditionally, people have waited outside a store to be the first in line for the new, big “deals of the year”, but some customers would rather shop in the comfort of their own bed, so they turn to online shopping. Shopping at the mall and bigger stores, like Target and Walmart, is widely popular among teens and is a fun activity to do with friends. People are always looking for the newest, hottest trends at the lowest prices possible, and with in person shopping, you are able to get your items right away. With patience fading, in store shopping is a better option if you are looking to get your items right away and not wait for shipping. In store shopping also holds the traditional Black Friday feel that many customers have enjoyed for so long. For tradition and time sake, in store shopping saves time and upholds the traditional long lines and 4 a.m. shopping that most customers have been doing for so long.

Black Friday isn’t what it used to be. People are no longer waiting outside a store to get the best deals. Instead, they are setting an alarm on their phone to wake up and go shop on their computer. Even in the past years, a majority of Black Friday shopping was done online. Sales are no longer exclusively for in-store shoppers, and can be found worldwide. While traditional in store sales are still useful, customers are starting to turn toward the online alternative. Technology is becoming the future of shopping, and the need for traditional sales is fading.

Story by Tessa Gagliardi and Kyra Okeefe

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