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Black Friday Goes Online

November 26, 2018


Having lived in Indonesia my whole life, experiencing Black Friday was definitely something I wanted to check off my bucket list. Although I have seen the viral videos of ridiculously long lines and people fighting over products in stores on my facebook feed, experiencing it first-hand would be exciting. Furthermore, since I am spending thanksgiving in New York, I would literally experience Black Friday in the liveliest city of the world. With such high expectations for Black Friday, I was both underwhelmed and grateful due to the surprising decline in customer turnout. On one hand, I was grateful that I had a peaceful shopping experience with short lines and quick service. However, I was underwhelmed, having expected the viral videos of a swarm of customers fighting over products. 


Data shows that in the past few years, more and more shoppers are online shopping from their comfortable couches rather than enduring the cold and rainy weather to make purchases at stores the way they used to. As number of stores that closed during thanksgiving rose, customers resorted to shopping online. Moreover, as retailers have been utilizing online promotions more heavily, customers are increasingly shifting online. 

Furthermore, A.T. Kearney data shows that 84% of customers said that long lines were the biggest complaint in traditional shopping in the 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey - something that is easily omitted with online shopping.


According to Adobe Analytics, online sales in the smartphone industry particularly spiked up 28% from last year to $3.7 billion on Thanksgiving. As of 10 AM EST on Black Friday, online consumer spending was at $643 million, showing an increase of 27.8% in comparison to last year.  Online sales, particularly from smartphones, has jumped this year, up 28% from last year to $3.7 billion on Thanksgiving, according to Adobe Analytics ADBE-0.19%  . As of 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Black Friday, online spending was up 27.8% to $643 million.


With the rise in online transactions and decline in the traditional physical shopping experience, the retail industry is continually revolving. More and more retail stores will establish an online platform, while physical stores will eventually shut down. However, can online shopping be a replacement for traditional shopping? And to what extent is the rise in e-commerce going to impact the employment and structure of the retail industry? 


Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/22/business/black-friday.html 


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