Fourteen Things You Didn't Know About Black Friday
The biggest economy in the world, the United States, has one of the most important retail days of the year on Black Friday.
Millions of American consumers visit shops across the nation on Friday following Thanksgiving, hoping to save money on Christmas shopping.
Here in the UK, we normally follow what the US does in retail. Hence, why Black Friday is becoming one of the most important days for online retailers in the UK.
But, as more discounts appear on the calendar, the question still remains: What exactly is Black Friday?
Here are 10 surprising facts about America's and now the UK's biggest shopping day:
Did you know "Black Friday" used to refer to the stock market crash in the 1800s?
However, the origin of Black Friday dates back to 1961 when American writer Walter Winchell coined the term.
On September 21st, 1961 he wrote in his syndicated column for King Features, "The market was hit by a(n) unexpected surge of selling orders."
The phrase caught on and became associated with the retail phenomenon after years of usage by both journalists and retailers.
You're Looking For Deals
Another surprising fact is that people don't necessarily shop on Black Friday to save money?
If you look at statistics from various stores throughout the US you will see that consumers bought more products than usual during the last few years.
That's because they are looking for deals, instead of saving money.
Of course, there are hundreds of online stores that offer great discounts along with lightning deals, but that doesn't necessarily mean consumers are buying the products.
"Santa Claus parades" were Black Friday's predecessor.
The first "Santa Claus parades" took place on Black Friday.
Almost a century ago, children would bring their letters to Santa Claus to the local newspaper's headquarters, where they were delivered to the Santa at the department store hosting him for that year's parade.
The event was made even more festive by early electric Christmas lights and music from live bands.
The Fourth of July Parade was a source of inspiration for many US department shops, such as Macy's who introduced their own parade in 1924.
It was believed that by hosting parades, you could increase footfall for your store and encourage people to spend more during the festive period.
In Britain, Black Friday has been a thing since 2009.
The term "Black Friday" found its way into British English in 2009 when it emerged as the name of a campaign group established to support offshore oil and gas workers who lost their jobs at the start of the year.
Since then, UK shoppers have embraced it with open arms, looking forward to getting some great deals on electrical products such as smartphones and laptops, kid's toys among other things!
The date of Thanksgiving was, indirectly, determined by holiday shoppers.
From the mid-nineteenth century until the early twentieth century, US President Abraham Lincoln began a custom in which he declared "a day of thanksgiving" on the last Thursday in November.
This might range from the fourth to the fifth Thursday of the month.
But on the last Thursday of November, something unusual occurred - it was the end of the calendar month.
Retailers were concerned about a shortened holiday shopping season, so they petitioned then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to change Thanksgiving to a week earlier, which he did.
During the next three years, Thanksgiving was mocked as "Franksgiving" and celebrated on various dates in different locations across the nation.
Finally, in late 1941, a joint resolution from Congress resolved the matter. Thanksgiving would now be observed on the fourth Thursday in November, ensuring an additional week of shopping before Christmas.
The Best Deals Are Electronics, Everything Else is December
If you are after anything electronic, then Black Friday is a great time for you. The best discounts on electronics are offered during the Black Friday period, with some items up to 50% cheaper than they usually are.
On the other hand, most of the non-electronic products' prices remain stable throughout December.
This means that if you're after gifts that are not electronic, it's better to wait until this month has passed.
Made For TV Specials
Black Friday isn't only about shopping - it's also an event where networks air "made for TV" specials and movies specifically produced for this day.
They count on the idea that more people will stay at home on this busy shopping day and watch these shows due to lack of something else to do or places to be.
Online is Where It's At
Of course, you can trundle down to the shops in the cold and wet beautiful British weather on Black Friday to get the best deal on the latest video game, but there is also an alternative!
Online shopping can save you money if you are willing to do your research. Some of the stores will offer discounts on specific products or even their whole collections, depending on what kind of sale they're currently running.
With more and more people getting used to buying online, it's easy to see how it has surpassed sales in physical shops for this event only!
According to a recent study, Cyber Monday and Black Friday account for 20% of all holiday online purchasing in the UK.
This might be because people want to avoid the pressure of physical shops and can access these websites from home.
If you think about the hassle of finding somewhere to park then the fact that most websites offer free shipping on selected products, it doesn't seem like such a bad option after all!
Reviews Are King Online!
Very few people buy products on Black Friday unless there is a product, store or company review to go with it.
This is because so many deals are actually not that great, but they are advertised as if they are the company's best offer ever!
Research shows that 80% of online consumers trust product reviews - especially when written by experts.
Seeing a review makes people trust the product more - no matter whether it has positive or negative feedback.
If past customers have taken photos or videos of that product, it really does instill confidence that that product is as advertised. This confidence allows people to make more informed decisions about buying the product, thus increasing its chances of success.
There are also sites like www.mumsnet.com where dedicated communities gather to discuss items they've bought and used, not only on Black Friday but throughout the year too.
These products can be toys or clothes for their children or kitchen equipment for themselves - anything goes!
Grabbing A Bargain At Midnight
It's fair to say that most new deals on Black Friday don't come along until mid-afternoon or just after midnight at best.
Spending hours online wading through offers before coming across something you actually want is frustrating, especially if you have somewhere to go later on in the day!
The best deals happen in shops at midnight when the queues are thickest. Hopeful shoppers line up outside the stores waiting for Black Friday madness to begin so they can get their hands on the best possible prices before anyone else!
It's also a time where some people have been known to start fights over products or steal them from others - fights that have broken out between parents fighting over toys for their children, namely dolls and more specifically Barbies ;)!
Online Gambling Leaves Thousands Out Of Pocket
Every year there is a small number of online gamblers who bet big but end up losing big too!
This means an average family loses around £1,000 during Black Friday through gambling sites. It might seem a lot but that figure could double or triple in years to come.
This is down to the fact that people are more willing to spend money on something else when they have a small fortune to lose! It's an addiction many people struggle with while others can't give it up entirely.
There are ways you can avoid these traps, but not everyone is aware of them - especially not when there are other products and deals available that catch your eye at the same time!
"Buy One Get One Free" Doesn't Apply To Everything
While this phrase has become very common, retailers tend to use it for products they don't want anymore due to being out of date or damaged in some way.
This makes customers think they're getting a bargain so even if the product isn't really great, they buy it anyway!
It's exactly the same as the phrase "two for one" - something we all saw a lot of during Valentine's Day and Christmas where there were discount offers on chocolates and other treats.
The average shopper spent over £900 in 2016 on Black Friday and expected to spend nearly £1,000 this year!
The savvy shoppers buy everything they need on Black Friday, so it leaves the rest of December free to spend on the things they really want!
The best deals happen around midnight as mentioned before or early morning when retailers bring out some very special offers as a way of making it onto Pinterest or other social media sites.
The amount might surprise you, but when you think of it, the bulk of people buying these products won't make many more purchases throughout December.
The majority are also very long-term purchases that the customer hopes will last for at least two years!
This means they're worth more in the long run if you've bought ten things instead of one thing. It doesn't come as much surprise to anyone that most people go with this option!
Savvy shoppers buy everything they need on Black Friday, so it leaves the rest of December free to spend on the things they really want!
Quick Black Friday Tips
1) Go in with an idea of what you want and set a limit for yourself. If that limit isn't met then don't buy it or at least put it back on the shelf where it belongs!
2) Check online before going in stores, some stores release their ads online but not all, so make sure you check your favorite store's site first to see what they're offering.
3) There's always an element of luck involved with shopping, so don't hold yourself to ransom if you can't find what you need - it'll be harder and more stressful than not going out at all!
4) Make a list and stick to it; we all know how easy it is to get distracted by the lights and sounds of the store!
Stick your phone on silent and leave any social media sites until after you've done your shopping.
5) Read reviews for products as these can help or hinder your decision as to whether or not you should buy something.
If there aren't any reviews around then ask people around you who have used similar products about their experiences with them so far.
6) If you can't find what you're looking for then check out other stores that are close by.
Some stores don't allow this due to the risk of theft but many do it anyway, especially if they know another store's advertising is better!
7) Shop online instead. This means you get the same deals but without the queuing or fighting over products once the shops open. You'll have your goods delivered straight to your front door!
8) Be polite to staff even if they aren't being helpful - no one wants an argument while trying to do their job, so be sure to take down any names so you can complain later on if necessary.
Of course, there are just some people who are rude no matter what, but unfortunately, you can't do anything about them once they walk out the door.
The holidays are a time for celebrating with friends and family, but it's also the season of Black Friday.
This is when retailers offer deep discounts on their products in an effort to generate more sales before Christmas day.
With so many deals available, it can be hard to know which ones are worth your money or not.
We hope you manage to find the bargains you want on your shopping trips and that you get everything you need.
We also hope you enjoy the spirit of the season with loved ones.
Here at RiiRoo, our Black Friday Deals can be found here and some of them will only be available today!
So if you have seen something you want for your child, today's the day to grab it before the price goes back up.
For more information on Black Friday, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you shopping online today? And, if so, which online shops are you visiting?
We would love to hear from you!