Black Friday and Cyber Monday have in recent years become quite the sales holiday. Marketers for retail brands drum up interest one to two weeks leading up to Friday, and consumers have mostly learned to lap it all up and decide where not whether to hand over their credit cards.
But Black Friday is loved by retailers for a reason, and we have to be smart about it as consumers.
So, why do more and more companies take part in this artificial sales holiday?
Money, of course. The lead up to Black Friday is wonderful for businesses because not only are marketers creating a lot of buzz with Black Friday ads, consumers are, these days, helping these companies generate a lot of attention with “haul” videos and pictures of them shopping.
There’s actually a build-up of sales events at the end of each year now:
- 11.11 Singles Day (mostly in Asia)
- 23.11 Black Friday
- 25.11 Cyber Monday
- 12.12 Online Revolution
- 26.12 Boxing Day Sales
Isn’t that just crazy? It’s almost like marketers are peddling the idea that you should work hard the entire year and then spend all your disposable cash in the last two months of the year.
In the end, these massive sales events are going to get to the minds of most everyday consumers. The strategy is simple: slash the prices of a few key products that people want, and then count on them buying a lot of other crap while they’re in the physical or online store.
Target CEO, Brian Cornell says,
“What I’ve been most interested in is what’s in the (customer) basket. You look at the people who you know came out for a specific, but then they’ve actually taken the time to shop other categories, which is really important. The fear here is seeing baskets or carts with one item.”
The way to be smart about Black Friday? Be that person who puts only one item in the basket.
Use Black Friday and these other major sales events as a way to buy what you actually want for a lowered price. See it as nothing else but an opportunity to be taken advantage of.
And definitely, don’t see it as a holiday.
Filmmaker Matt D’Avela captures the ideas here very clearly in this video: