Black Friday 2018: A Not-So-Wild Day for American Shoppers


Social media is playing a bigger role than ever in people’s holiday shopping habits. According to Accenture, 15 percent of shoppers in 2018 will use social media for some of their purchases, up from 8 percent last year. With a growing share of retail sales taking place online — and nearly half of those sales coming on mobile devices — social media might be a way for brands to counter the competition.

It could help retailers offset some of the deep discounts that consumers expect on Black Friday.

“If you can grab people in the inspirational moment, they’re not going to be as price-sensitive and maybe they won’t shop around,” said Jill Standish, Accenture’s global lead for retail.

Ms. Standish compared selling via social media to Amazon’s 1-click ordering (something that, according to one survey, had 70 percent of respondents spending more money).

Another advantage? Online, Ms. Standish said, it can be easy “for a small brand to look big” if they know how to present themselves, and know how to attract the right influencer profiles to promote their products. A strong social media presence can make a company seem instantly reputable.

— Zach Wichter

There are three reasons that Black Friday is so popular, and two of them are the deals, according to Tulin Erdem, a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“The economic savings, feeling good about yourself having found a good deal, being a shrewd consumer,” she said, all add up to one key factor. Plus, because so many stores offer Black Friday sales, it’s easier to find discounts without having to search as hard as you might during the rest of the year.

But, Dr. Erdem said, another reason Black Friday remains so popular is tradition.

“It still has its appeal because of this ritualistic aspect,” she said. “It’s like going to a big important baseball game or Super Bowl as an American family.”

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