Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year. Originally an American tradition, Black Friday marks the day after Thanksgiving and the official kick off to holiday shopping. Despite no relation to the UK, this tradition has crossed the Atlantic and an increasing number of British companies are offering huge discounts and sales in the name of Black Friday.
Now don’t get us wrong, we love a good deal. But Black Friday Sales have simply gone too far. This year, British shoppers are expected to spend a shocking £10.1bn in the week of Black Friday alone. That’s crazy and here’s what we think about it.
Black Friday Perfectly Embodies Excessive Marketing and Over Consumption
We are all familiar with the type of marketing that accompanies Black Friday sales. It is that ‘quick- get it while you can!’ and ‘One time only!’ marketing that gives us the feeling that we absolutely cannot pass up on this once-in-a-lifetime deal.
A couple of things are fundamentally wrong with this. First off, Black Friday marketing can push us into buying things that we never really intended on buying. If you are on the market for something in particular, and you see it go on sale, then great! But let’s face the facts. Marked down price tags are reallllly tempting. And sometimes they can trick us into buying things we didn’t want, or need. We are advocates of buying less and buying well, so this type of bully advertising to over consume doesn’t really sit well with us.
Second, this marketing tactic inspires an urgency that we must buy, and quickly! It doesn’t give us the chance to properly research and learn about the product we are buying, nor does it give us the chance to compare it to other options to see if we are really getting a great price. In fact, a survey found that roughly two thirds of holiday shoppers questioned whether they were getting a good deal, and 25% of shoppers felt stressed and overwhelmed by the whole experience.
It is not surprising that shoppers feel anxious while seeking Black Friday deals. While more shoppers are turning to online retail (12% rise in online sales from 2015 to 2016), the day is still synonymous with crammed stores and fisticuffs as people scramble for marked down goods. While the UK is a tad more reserved than their American counterpart, there have still been documented outbreaks of violence due to Black Friday Sales.
So what’s the takeaway? In essence, Black Friday has evolved into a marketing gimmick that encourages urgent consumerism during the madness of holiday shopping. If you partake in Black Friday sales, fight back by doing your research, finding brands worthy of your support and only buying what you truly love.