Black Friday and How It Has Evolved in the Digital Sphere

Black Friday is just around the corner. There is already anticipation for the upcoming Black Friday deals in as early as October. Just imagine the foot traffic, and how aggressive could the shoppers get when the Sale starts. This may sound exaggerating things but the image on my mind is fixated to that Black Friday Scene in the movie, “Shopaholic” where people run towards the shop to get the purse they love, the bags added on the wishlist, the latest gadget finds. Basically, consumers have been waiting to splurge their money for that Best Black Friday deals and stock up on their Christmas gifts. Did you ever wonder about the beginning of Black Friday and how it has evolved in the digital sphere? Let’s dig deeper for a bit and learn the story behind Black Friday.

The “Black Friday” Evolution

The term, “Black Friday” was first associated with a financial crisis that took place in 1869. Gould and Fisk attempted to corner the gold market in the New York Gold Exchange. Thus, the Gold Market crashed which also inflicted damage to  Wallstreet, the stock market dropped by 20% points in just a week, causing the bankruptcy of investors. The Farmers were the most affected during this crisis as the value of their harvests dropped by 50%. Hence, September 24, 1869, has coined the crisis as “Black Friday”. 

In the 1950s, Black Friday is the term used by the police in Philadelphia to describe the chaos a day after Thanksgiving as a large crowd of tourists and shoppers flooded the city for the  Army-Navy football game and shopping. Thus police officers are expected to work longer shifts, and they used the term “Black Friday” to refer to the situation. Business owners attempted to change the name to “Big Friday” but the latter didn’t seem to register compared to the former. Eventually, the Black Friday term became famous that it reached through cities and finally entered the national lexicon.

Black Friday as a day for Holiday Shopping Deals

Since the day after Thanksgiving has become a tradition for holiday shopping, it has become the strategy of retailers to run its own holiday promotions and entice the buying behavior of the market. 

In1980s and 1990s this Black Friday strategy has spread across the USA and it just gets bigger every year and even reached other countries.

Black Friday in the Digital Sphere

Today, market behavior and preference have changed as more consumers would prefer shopping through their laptops or smartphones Aware of this change in the buying environment, retailers resorted to investing in e-commerce to reach out to a wider market. 

And although Black Friday has become a norm over the years, it is not that outstanding anymore. As in the present times, consumers would just shop through online platforms anytime they please. 

If you come to think of it regardless if it’s Black Friday or not, the buying behavior has changed over time. Thus, if you are a retailer or business owner, it is best to always be on the lookout of the latest trend and market environment. That is probably one of the reasons why the all famous Forever 21 splurge down really low, causing most of its stores to close in most parts of the world. 

Looking at the evolution, the two things remain to be something crucial to watch out for:
1. observe and be aware of any changes in the buying behavior of your target market; and
2. always have a business plan in handy.

The Journey of Entrepreneurship podcast hosts, Rosler Oriol and Richard Phipps always put emphasis on the importance of a business plan in starting and keeping the business running.

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