Black Friday is a huge deal for retailers, kicking off the flood of purchases people complete between Thanksgiving and Christmas that account for as much as 30% of annual retail sales. Whether you’re participating in this traditional buying frenzy to express love materialistically or just to grab a deal on something you’ve been craving, online buying is worth considering for reasons extending far beyond coupon codes and saving on gas.
Your odds of finding the exact thing you want skyrocket. As of 2014, there were an estimated 650,000 online retailers around the world generating sales over $1,000 per year. This of course includes companies like Amazon. So if you’re looking for, say, a 6-inch replica of a Sumo wrestler wearing a tutu and holding briefcase, it’s totally not a problem. That’s a big advantage when you’re trying to personalize your gifts.
You might curb impulse purchases. Research indicates that people generally use mobile devices more for spontaneous, in-the-moment buys. But on Black Friday, nearly half of smartphone and tablet users (45.4% and 47.4%, respectively) use their devices not just to complete their purchases, but to research buys, too. If you can tell more clearly what the best deal is via online comparisons, you’re less likely to be swayed by a fear of missing out—having a bunch of people around you “threatening” to “steal” your deal can worsen your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but online shopping lets you buy in peace and quiet, on your terms, without pressure.
Your mind and body will be less fatigued. Cooking up a storm and/or interacting with friends and family on Thanksgiving takes energy. Then, if you want to hit a doorbuster, you’ve got to be to the store the next day at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. Once you get to the store, you have to deal with the physical stress of walking around, fighting crowds and loading/unloading your merchandise. If you’re not exhausted after all that, you get a gold star. Online shopping lets you recoup much better. That matters not just for your physical health, but for your wallet, too, because when you’re very tired and stressed, it’s harder for your brain to function and make logical decisions about what you’re buying.
You up the odds of reaching original buying goals. Many individuals who strike out on Black Friday do so because they’re after specific items the store has advertised. But guess what. You’re not the only one who wants that stuff, and in-store retailers can offer only a limited number of those items because they’re limited in terms of floor space. If you shop online and something sells out, all you have to do is try again at another URL, no camping out in front of a building required. And yes, many online retailers price match.
Online shopping facilitates a faster shopping process. We’re not just talking about the time you save from not having to drive around here. Online retailers have made it possible to complete a checkout with just a few clicks or taps, with some even offering one-touch ordering. Plus, online stores can recommend items to you based on your previous purchases or browsing history, and although you might have to deal with the occasional pop-up ad, you don’t have aisles and aisles of products around you to distract you.
Even though you shouldn’t necessarily disregard in-store shopping on Black Friday entirely, buying online makes a lot of sense financially, physically and mentally. No matter what route you go, remember—a little planning and courtesy go a long way.
This article was written by Tom Popomaronis from Forbes and was legally licensed by AdvisorStream through the NewsCred publisher network.