Holiday shopping: Black Friday or Cyber Monday

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Photo illustrated by Kassidy Weber

 

Black Friday deals: Angeli LaGuardia

Intense sport families throw tailgates, football fanatics religiously watch the Superbowl, and true shopaholics participate in annual Black Friday shopping. Black Friday shopping is an American tradition. Blood pumping, adrenaline-fueled families nationwide pile themselves into their cars and take advantage of extreme shopping deals and discounts during the Thanksgiving season.

Family and friends squeal in delight as they race from store to store, sharing their abundance of good finds. Smiles light up their faces once they’re able to share the holiday shopping experience together. On Black Friday, shopping is never done alone; customers are able to make exciting lasting memories as they shop for themselves and loved ones.

Black Friday offers what online shopping doesn’t: the in-store opportunity to test products’ reliability before buying them. It eliminates the lengthy process of potentially returning an item because it didn’t fit right or it wasn’t “compatible with your network provider.”

Cyber Monday, an extension of Black Friday, is essentially when online shoppers eat turkey leftovers and get what was unwanted from Black Friday. That means that all products for Cyber Monday are less in stock, increasing competitive shopping. Online shoppers compete nationwide, struggling to maintain their cart’s contents, afraid of their desired products selling out. In brick and mortar, when an item is in your possession it’s yours, versus online shopping, where items are sold out in minutes.

Black Friday sales are notorious for unbeatable prices. According to Nationwide.com, 2017’s Black Friday sales for retail, technology, and home appliances were greater than in store online. It’s a once a year opportunity to take advantage of exclusive deals in person, rather than racing to buy limited products shown as a miniscule image over a barely-lit computer screen.

Customers are not guaranteed to receive the exact version of what they ordered online. Adults blow caution to the wind and order a 90 x 108 flat screen TV only for it to be the size of a microwave. A teenager orders a large hoodie to keep warm but ends up shivering in a large children’s sweatshirt instead. Customers stare at their technological devices struggling to decipher if what they’re ordering will be up to par.

Black Friday shopping has traditionally been apart of all Americans’ Holiday To-Do list and rightfully so. Deals are incomparable online, and in-store shopping is all about the experience and ensures a customer’s needs up close and personal.  Black Friday shopping benefits consumers in not only time management but customer satisfaction, too.

Cyber Monday steals: Roby Tan

Most people know what Black Friday is, but Cyber Monday is just like Black Friday but better. The term “Cyber Monday” debuted in 2005, creating a better shopping experience during the holidays. It has the same deals except everything is online.

During this nationwide sale, retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Groupon and Ebay are most likely to offer free shipping and special online only discounts. Social medias such as Twitter and Instagram also post flash deals and keep followers updated on special codes for extra discounts.

Everyone can appreciate saving travel time, skipping long lines and shopping in their pajamas with hot chocolate in hand. Cyber Monday is like living a stress-free dream: a shopping spree in the comforts of your own home, sitting in front of the computer with zero disturbance from pushy moms that might actually kill to give their kids the best holiday. Black Friday is the epitome of a shopping nightmare: standing in line before daylight, arguing with the workers for a restock and standing in the vicinity of other customers fighting for that last item on the shelf.

Switching between different website tabs to compare prices is way easier than running to different stores. Cyber Monday allows shoppers to get even better deals after Black Friday if an item didn’t sell as well as expected that day. Electronics, shoes, clothes and home accessories are the top-selling items because online prices drastically drop during the event.

Consumers can participate in Cyber Monday from any device that connects to the Internet. According to ComScore, a media company that measures consumer behavior, Cyber Monday spending was a whopping $3.36 billion in 2017 compared to 2005 when it was only $484 million. Clearly, online shopping and Cyber Monday are becoming more popular for a reason. According to the National Retail Federation, last year, 75% of Cyber Monday shoppers used their computers at home, 43% used a mobile device and 13% used computers at work. Technology is a tremendous advantage in shopping especially when customers sign up for the latest deals or subscribe to newsletters where they would usually get first dibs.

Thanksgiving week is about spending time with family and reflecting on what’s important. Shopping online leaves more time to bond with loved ones. Make the better choice and shop online on #CyberMonday.