Research Outline

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday


To compare Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For each, provide the following: 1) Description of what it is, 2) Analysis of its pros and cons, 3) Analysis of items that are worth buying, 4) Tips, tools, and hacks to get the best deals. The information should be fresh (i.e. not information that is rewritten every year). As such, the resources used should only be from the past 1-2 years, and ideally as recent as possible.

Early Findings

Black Friday

  • Description: Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and has historically always been a very popular day for people to go out and do their Christmas shopping since many people have off work this day. Over time, retailers began taking advantage of this trend by offering major sales. The day's name, 'Black Friday', originated in Philadelphia and interestingly had nothing to do with shopping, despite the fact that the two are synonymous today. 61% of survey respondents said they will shop on Black Friday in 2019.
  • Pros: It's a great time to get good deals, which is ideal for consumers as over half of respondents to a recent survey said they wait for deals of 35% off or more before making a purchase.
  • Cons: Black Friday causes some people to stress, for example, 16% of respondents to a 2019 survey said they were stressed about possibly missing out on a deal or a hot ticket item. This was especially true among millennials (22%).
  • Items Worth Buying: In 2018, some of the most popular items purchased were gaming consoles, smart home gadgets, Instant Pots, televisions, and other technologies. About a quarter of survey respondents said they were looking for deals on technology items in 2018. Other hot ticket items in 2018 were Blu-ray movies, Roombas, and iPads, iPhones.

Cyber Monday

  • Description: Cyber Monday falls on the Monday after Black Friday and first began in 2005 as a way to encourage holiday shoppers to shop online. To do so, online retailers ran online deals in order to compete against brick-and-mortar shops. The reason Cyber Monday falls on a Monday is that, back then, most people liked to do their online shopping at the office since their offices usually provided faster internet connections compared to at-home dial-up. Therefore, Mondays were a lucrative day for online retailers. 50% of survey respondents said they will shop on Cyber Monday in 2019.
  • Pros: According to RedStag Fulfillment, Cyber Monday is a chance for retailers to improve their customer loyalty as it offers them a chance to provide special and exclusive deals to their existing customers.
  • Cons: A survey of e-commerce companies revealed that one of the biggest challenges of Cyber Monday is shipping, as many Cyber Monday customers want express shipping options and many online retailers struggle to compete in this arena.
  • Items Worth Buying: On Amazon, the top-selling Cyber Monday item (globally) in 2018 was the Echo Dot smart speaker. Other top-selling items included ancestry DNA testing kits, Bose headphones, Apple devices, the Instant Pot, smart home devices, and Roombas, and video doorbells.