Ever since its inception in 2005, Cyber Monday has been giving Black Friday a run for its money, literally. In fact, last year’s Cyber Monday total sales outperformed Black Friday’s online sales by $100 million. Between Cyber Monday and online Black Friday deals, traditional shopping has taken a hit. According to CNBC, a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation found that the number of physical shoppers on Black Friday dropped by around 3 million in 2016. Whether or not Cyber Monday is outperforming Black Friday is no longer a question, but many argue whether or not it’s more socially beneficial.
Shopping, especially for the holidays, has been a special time to spend with friends and family. It’s a time to complain together, laugh, share the exhilaration of finding the perfect gift or best deal, have lunch or a coffee, shop some more, and go home with a few interesting stories. Black Friday has held the spot as THE day for such a shopping adventure for many, many years. However, the horror stories of threats, injuries, and even deaths in the recent years have darkened this day for many. In addition, our society has grown less patient when it comes to standing in lines and getting from one place to another. In light of this, the option of online shopping has become more appealing.
While online shopping doesn’t offer the same social benefits, there is something about making a purchase online that is just as exhilarating as being able to physically pick up that gift or get that deal in person. It also allows people to spend more time at home, which for many means more time to enjoy Thanksgiving festivities. In fact, it has been pointed out that if people didn’t put so much stock into physically shopping for Black Friday deals, stores wouldn’t start them on Thanksgiving Day.
Is Cyber Monday better for families than Black Friday? Does online shopping allow families to spend more quality time together? Or, are the memories and bonds created from the action of going out to shop together more valuable?