The Meaning Of Black Friday

by , Staff Writer @lauriesullivan, November 25, 2016

Do you feel like Black Friday lost its oomph? I actually purchased some items on sale two days before Thanksgiving. It almost feels like Black Friday week rather than Black Friday day. And I did it all in physical stores. This year I’m on the hunt for deals online to buy in brick-and-mortar stores, rather make the purchase online, which I have not done in the past six years. Why the change of heart?

Sometimes it takes retailers too long to process the order. In many cases their online systems do not stop taking orders when stock runs out and the consumer ends up getting an apology email as to the reason the items won’t ship.

Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) released data Thursday morning that predicts products are less likely to run out of stock this year. In fact, out-of-stock notifications are at 6.4% versus 11% last year, according to ADI.

Between midnight and 11 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day, ADI estimates consumers spent $336 million, with a forecast to hit $2 billion in online revenue for the first time at 15.6% growth YoY, with a record $820 million expected via mobile devices for the entire day. 

And evidently it’s easier to order products from a smartphone running the iOs operating system compared with Android. ADI estimates the average order value on iOS devices hit $144, outperforming Android devices at $119.

As for how Black Friday got its name, there are several theories. One of the earliest use of the term Black Friday, the shopping day after Thanksgiving Day, which kicks off the holiday shopping season in the U.S., comes from a 1951 practice of workers calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving in order to have four consecutive days off. At the time, the day was not yet commonly offered as a paid day off by employers, according to Snopes.

Time magazine suggests the term Black Friday originally was used to describe the September 24, 1864 stock market crash set off by plummeting goal prices. Newspapers in Philadelphia reused the phrase in the late 1960s to describe the rush of crowds at stores.

Digital images compiled from the Library of Congress would lead us to believe that Black Friday was a common term used by retailers to advertise sales — not just during the holiday season, but all year long. The Hub used the term Black Friday in July 1901, to advertise a sale in the Iola register. 

Happy shopping — wherever the deals might take you. Search Marketing Daily