As the holidays approach and the weather turns cold (well, at least here in Canada) it’s hard not to prepare for the day that many love, some fear and we all anticipate: Black Friday! Yes, it’s that time of year. As you digest your final slice of pumpkin pie, or just enjoy a regular Thursday night if you’re not from the United States, many are preparing for the busiest shopping day of the year.
Obviously, this isn’t our first rodeo when it comes to Black Friday. In fact, there is a rumour going around that Black Friday starts early at Corel this year. But you didn’t hear that from me.
Myself, I have been to the belly of the beast: A mall in the US at 5 am on Black Friday. Through my years as a seasoned shopping veteran, I’ve made a few observations of how people spend this day. Here are seven types of Black Friday shoppers to look out for this season:
This person knows Black Friday, and knows it well. They have ventured out into the depths of a shopping mall every year since the dawn of Black Friday, or for a very long time, and they know how to handle it.
You won’t find this person camped out at the entrance the night before, they know it isn’t necessary. No, they set their alarm for 3 am, eat a hearty breakfast and down a pot of coffee on their way to the mall. They arrive just as the stores open, and they have a fool-proof plan.
They know which stores to go to, and at what time, to ensure that lines are as short as possible and there are still plenty of products on the shelf. Item after item they check off their list, and before you know it, they are leaving the mall on their way home by 11 am. This, my friends, is how it’s done!
The amateur can take comfort in knowing that every professional was once where they are now. This is likely their first Black Friday and, of course, they over plan. Because they know the lines will be long, they camp out the night before. But when they wake up, the doors will open to anyone, no matter their spot in line. So this is wasted time and energy.
As they walk into the mall, they do not have any plan set in place. The amateur tries to do too much, hitting every single store they see with a sale. This proves to be very time consuming, and they are often the last person to leave the mall.
But fear not young amateurs, this is only your first time and you will learn. Soon enough, you will be happily exiting the mall before noon with the other professionals.
This poor, unsuspecting person usually joins a friend, spouse or partner, likely a professional, on their Black Friday journey. The tag-along’s purpose is primarily to hold bags and save spots in line. They might get to sit on a bench while the professional fights for that last pair of shoes, but this is the only rest they will receive.
You will usually see them standing alone, maybe on their phone or looking for the nearest exit. But one thing’s for sure, they are tired, sore and most likely in need of a hug. So, hug a tag-along this Black Friday. They deserve it.
The Online Shopper
Wary of the crowds and messy stores, the online shopper does all their shopping, you guessed it, online. They don’t have to leave the house and can spend all day in their sweatpants. Jealous?
They may have to get up in the middle of the night or very early to score those online deals, but they don’t have to leave the comforts of their home and they have plenty of coffee on hand. By noon, they are done shopping and likely resting for another busy day on Cyber Monday.
They hate crowds. They hate shopping. Black Friday is not for them.
The Last-Minute Go-Getter
This is their first Black Friday, and they had no plan on taking part until the night before. Boy, are they in for a treat! They will wake up early, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, with no idea of what’s in store (pun intended).
The second they enter the mall and see the crowds, they freeze. With little to no experience, they are unable to handle the screaming children, zombie-like tag-alongs and very little personal space. By 10 am, you can find them crying in the bathroom.
Some professionals don’t like coming alone, so they bring their friends, or in some cases, their family. You will recognize them when they first walk in; each with little to no luggage, phone in one hand and coffee in the other.
They split up to cover more territory. Within an hour they’ve made their way, collectively, through the entire mall and have everything they need. They meet at their predetermined spot, grab a quick breakfast and are gone by sunrise.
While you’re out on your Black Friday adventures this year, keep an eye out for one of these shoppers. Which one are you?