And many of those online buyers don't go to their desks or even take their laptops. According to Adobe, more than half of online buyers make purchases on their mobile devices. Such sales did not reach 50 percent last year, the company said.
– Zach Wichter
When Bargains Become Tradition
There are three reasons why Black Friday is very popular, and two of them are deals, according to Tulin Erdem, a marketing professor at the New York Stern Business School.
"Economic savings, feeling good about yourself after finding many things, are becoming smart consumers," he said, all adding to one key factor. In addition, because many stores offer Black Friday sales, it's easier to find discounts without having to search as hard as you can for the rest of the year.
But, said Dr. Erdem, another reason Black Friday remains so popular is tradition.
"It still has its appeal because of this aspect of the ritual," he said. "It's like going to an important baseball game or the Super Bowl as an American family."
[See how one family spent their Black Friday last year.]
Consider that the National Retail Federation surveyed 7,516 consumers about their spending plans this year, and 26 percent of those who plan to shop on Black Friday say it's because of tradition. An additional 23 percent said they would shop because it was just something to do. (As far as we know, no one was asked if they shop just to stay away from family members.)
Of course Black Friday is just the beginning of everything. If retailers don't start discounts before Thanksgiving – and it seems like the most – they definitely use the holiday shopping season to push merchandise on every occasion. The biggest discount tends to come on "Super Saturday" – the last Saturday before Christmas, said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail analysis company.
But Black Friday is important. Consumers surveyed by the retail federation said they plan to shop more on Black Friday than on any other day on Thanksgiving weekend.
And Black Friday maintains a cultural cache, especially for "new Americans," Johnson said, because new immigrants are likely to take part. "That's how you learn to be American consumers, by appearing and shopping on Black Friday."
– Zach Wichter
Continue reading the main story