Last year, Cyber Monday became the biggest online shopping day in history globally. Adobe reported that the Monday shopping holiday hit a new record of $3.45 billion spent online, surpassing Black Friday’s online sales numbers by over $100 million.
But that isn’t the only indicator of a shift in consumer shopping trends, especially when it comes to Black Friday. In a weekend full of deals to kick off the extensive holiday shopping season, many people no longer feel obligated to shop these arbitrary holidays seeing retailers offer sales of comparable value before and after these dates.
With the rise of online shopping and other unique ways to get great clothes such as the rental clothing market, personal shoppers and shopping through curated apps, getting up at the crack of dawn to wait in line for hours for a single sweater is no longer enticing to some.
It’s also important to note that the Black Friday deals in Canada fail in comparison to those markdowns in the United States. In fact, the discounts on Cyber Monday seem to be more worthwhile all together as buyers can still get a deal without leaving their own home. But regardless, do Canadians even care about either holiday anymore?
It feels as if the novelty of it all has worn off and with only slight discounts, taking part in Black Friday or Cyber Monday isn’t really worth the hassle anymore.
According to DIG360, a Vancouver-based think-tank, only 30 percent of consumers participated in Canadian Black Friday in 2016. DIG360 also reported that online Black Friday activities have caught up to in-store purchasing; out of those Canadians taking advantage of Black Friday sales, 40 per cent bought or browsed in-store only while 39 per cent shopped online exclusively. The remaining 21 per cent did both.
The report also showed how the overall idea of Cyber Monday is becoming less relevant to Canadians given the amount and variety of Black Friday deals being offered online – 13 per cent of Canadians bought Cyber Monday promotions while two-thirds of Black Friday buyers were finished shopping by Cyber Monday, citing they either didn’t participate or browsed without buying.
Of course, people are still going to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, however, those days are no longer the be-all-end-all of holiday shopping. Rather so, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have since expanded into a two-week shopping period, making it more convenient for consumers to get products they want at sale prices without having to deal with the madness that overtakes malls on these two highly-publicized days. Avid shoppers are smart and have come to realize there are other sales of nearly equal value happening continuously throughout the holiday shopping season.
There’s also the trend of millennial-friendly brands taking a stand against Black Friday and its capital undertones that has added to its disillusionment. American retailer REI will close its doors on Black Friday for the third time in a row, online retailer Everlane doesn’t offer any sales but donates all proceeds from the day to its wellness program for factory workers and last year, Patagonia donated 100 per cent of its Black Friday sales – $10 million – to nonprofit environmental organizations.
To contrast, some Canadian retailers see Black Friday as an opportunity to entice shoppers to buy closer to home, rather than travelling across the border in search of deals. But it’s the difference in markdowns that has Canadians looking elsewhere. A recent study by consulting firm Colliers International found that 36 per cent of products offered by Canadian chains received deeper discounts on Boxing Day than on Black Friday – while in the U.S., this stat is reversed.
All this points to an obvious decrease in the overall interest of the two notorious shopping holidays among Canadians. But if you still get a rush from the traditional way of scoring deals IRL, it’s safe to say the lines are probably going to be a bit shorter this Black Friday weekend.
Do you think Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals are still relevant? Let us know in the comments!
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