I’m not much of a shopper, unless I’m in a saddle shop surrounded by the scent of new leather and a life-sized horse mannikin.
I’ve never gone wonky over a sale on big screen televisions and I don’t get the vapors over shoe sales. Sad to say, all the media hype around Black Friday does nothing to quicken my heartbeat like it seems to for other folks. I feel left out. I’m missing something, I know, to be so ho-hum about saving a boatload of money on stuff I don’t need.
What is wrong with me?
Black Friday is a major shopping event, a shop-a-holic’s dream come true, a shopping phenomenon, if you will.
And that does quicken my heartbeat, so, in the interest of scientific research, I unearthed a few fun facts-and some not so fun facts- about Black Friday.
- The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the kick-off to the holiday shopping season, but it never had a name, until recently.
- The term, Black Friday, is thought to have originated in Philadelphia, when pedestrians and vehicle traffic clogged main shopping roads and generally made ordinary life difficult. It’s also the day when retailers’ accounting books switch from being ‘in the red’ to being ‘in the black.’
- People get crazy for a deal. To date, there have been 16 reported deaths due to Black Friday shopping mania.
- In 2018, American shoppers spent a whopping 717.5 billion dollars on Black Friday alone.
- 50% of the 717.5 billion dollars was spent on electronics and technology.
- Environmentalists criticize Black Friday as yet another consumeristic bomb as shoppers purchase items they don’t need simply because they’re on sale.
- On Black Friday, in a line outside a California Walmart, a woman used pepper spray on fellow shoppers to prevent them from cutting the line. She was waiting for an Xbox 360.
The psychology behind Black Friday is even more interesting.
- Black Friday hype awakens a psychological urgency. First, retailers encourage you to believe you want IT, whatever IT is; then they drop the bomb. “You have just one day to get IT.”
- When we shop or engage in exciting or impulsive behavior, we feel a little thrill. That’s the brain’s physiological response to impulse behavior. Your brain sends a shot of dopamine to your neurotransmitters, which- lo and behold-reinforces that impulse behavior.
- Advertising sells happiness, not products. Your life will be amazing if only you buy this sweater, television, computer, I-pad. No, really…your life will be amazing!
- Consumer Psychology is an entire field of research. No lie. It’s research devoted to finding out what motivates shoppers to make purchases. Some of the motivators include boosting self-esteem, an ‘I deserve this’ mentality, a happiness reach, cultural conditioning, and the desire for immediate gratification. Finding out why you buy, is a full time job for someone.
But hey, don’t let any of the above stop you. I don’t want to be a killjoy.
Happy Black Friday shopping everyone!