Deal of the day

Black Friday has been part of the fabric of our culture for a long time, marking the start of the Christmas shopping season. In recent years, Black Friday festivities have started earlier and, to the discontent of some, retail employees have to spend part of Thanksgiving Day at their jobs instead of with their families. So when a handful of retailers announced that they were not going to be open on Thanksgiving Day this year, it must have been a welcome news to many.

There may be other reasons why the tradition of lining up well before midnight on the eve of Black Friday, dressed to the nines (more like dressed with nine layers of clothing to stay warm), to snag that limited-stock doorbuster deal may have lost its allure for many consumers.

The internet, aka the cloud, has changed many aspects of how we go about our daily chores, and “shopping” is definitely one of them. Introductions are not required when describing Amazon’s “e-commerce” success or how Walmart, the 500-pound gorilla of retail commerce in the real world, agreed to acquire this past summer (I think to challenge Amazon’s e-commerce prowess). Competition should ultimately be good for consumers.

This year I noticed how many of the Black Friday doorbuster deals could be snagged from the warmth and comfort of our own abodes through online shopping. Although such convenience may be considered sacrilegious to Black Friday die-hards, to retailers capitalizing on the start of the Christmas shopping season, “a sale made is a sale earned” regardless of whether the profit was made in the real or digital world. 

The important take-away here is not whether Black Friday continues to be a retail tradition in the future. As the popularity of e-commerce gained momentum, retailers were quick to spawn another shopping tradition called “Cyber Monday” to capitalize and move merchandise in the digital world, thus holiday sales battleground had already moved into the digital world years ago! 

Although it is easy to become excited about Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays and whatever sales tradition they can concoct to entice you to open your wallets, the reality is that digital world-based tools such as computers, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets are on an accelerated product life cycle where they go into the “maturity” and “decline” phases more quickly due to technology’s built-in obsolescence. In other words you can almost always count on something being on clearance pricing at any given time of the year as long as you don’t seek the newest when shopping for these technology-based devices.

So if you were busy attending to more important things in life this Thanksgiving Day, like having a wonderful time with family and friends, do not fret that you may have missed a “deal” on a Power of One device you wanted to get for yourself this Christmas. Just “google it” and you may be surprised to find out that the supposed deal of the year was only a deal of the day!

Tak Sato

Technology and Organization Strategist with over 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As co-founder of geek with a heart with the service mark "Hand-holding You in the Digital World" and co-founder of Center for Aging in the Digital World, a nonprofit empowering seniors through technology, Tak helps people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 8, Issue 23, Posted 9:35 AM, 11.29.2016