The Black Friday phenomenon is uniquely American, and it represents a sort of rite-of-passage for anyone who calls the USA home. It’s a wonderful time of bargains, new stuff, panic, excitement, and violence. It’s like an 80s Bruce Willis action film in real life, and the venue is usually right in your own neighborhood.
As far as I can tell, there are three different types of Black Friday shoppers, and the planning required for each person is different. I’ll give you a profile of each shopper, and you can determine which one mirrors yourself the closest and plan your Black Friday appropriately.
Black Friday Shopper Type 1: The Brawler
Characteristics: Aggressive, Sleep Deprived, Undeterred, Highly Motivated, Ready for Battle
How to Plan: The brawler is the pinnacle of Black Friday shopping. To exist in the ranks of the brawlers is to be ready for anything. You might have to camp in front of a store for a week. You might miss Thanksgiving dinner with your family. You might alienate and/or injure those around you. But the payoff is magnificent.
Doorbusters galore await you in your consumeristic Valhalla. The Brawler has painstakingly studied newspaper advertisements for weeks in anticipation of finally getting that flash fryer at Wal-Mart for basically free. These folks have planned their shopping route weeks in advance, and they’re at the front of the stampede, ready to crush anyone and everyone who gets between them and the unbelievable bargains in front of them. The Brawler knows one thing and one thing only: deals. And the brawler does whatever it takes to get them.
Black Friday Shopper Type 2: The Technophile
Characteristics: Tech Savvy, Introverted, Minimum 60 WPM Typer, Fast Clicker
How to Plan: The technophile’s domain isn’t storefronts and shopping malls, it’s the computer screen. Since the internet is basically the best way to shop, the technophile knows that all of the same deals available in stores are online also, and they’d rather not bother with cars, lines, or people, if possible.
Technophiles are a little bit more organized than brawlers. They have an idea of what products they need, so they’ve signed up for countless email lists, taking stock of the deals that align with their catalog. Usually, product availability is limited online, so the technophile has every website pulled up separately in its own tab, ready to hit the refresh button, add to cart, and checkout with blazing speed. The technophile’s domain is cyber, safely away from the insanity of the real world.
Black Friday Shopper Type 3: The Hibernator
Characteristics: Quasi-motivated, Comfortable, Conflict Averse, Late Sleeper, Lacks FOMO
How to Plan: The hibernators are ambivalent about Black Friday. They’ve most likely gotten the day off of work, and it seems as good of time as any to get some early holiday shopping done. They’re not motivated by doorbusters, nor are they particularly fond of getting up early on their day off. Instead, they’ve likely created a shopping list, will wake up sometime after 10 AM, have a nice breakfast, and head to the stores once the brawlers have dispersed. The hibernator knows that good deals are relative--that if you buy something that you didn’t need, you didn’t really save money.
The hibernator only needs one thing for their Black Friday: a wishlist from their family and friends for holiday gifts. If the hibernator gets a good deal, that’s just a cherry on top of the Black Friday sundae.
So which one are you?