Black Friday approaches and already you might be outlining what kind of tech bargains you're hoping to see. Or maybe you're having a look through your winter wardrobe to determine which pieces of clothing offer the best protection against pointy elbows for when you venture out to the stores.
Put that padded gilet down, friend. Rather than putting yourself through the stresses and strains of in-store Black Friday events, we think you should make all your purchases online and here are five good reasons why.
1. Home delivery without queues
No car to take to the store and pick up that 4K TV you’ve been holding out for? That’s not as much of a problem when you’re shopping online. For those not able to drive, not near a large number of retailers, or lacking a car large enough to transport the bargains they’re planning on picking up, being able to click the home delivery option makes it much easier to get more of what you want with less stress and no queues.
Trust us, this 55-inch Sony TV looks sleek and light but carting it home on public transport is not enjoyable.
2. Deals happen over days
It’s not just a single Black Friday deals-fest anymore. Often deals and stock are staggered over a period of days, and things have extended into Cyber Monday now. Rather than driving to different stores every day it really just makes more sense in terms of your personal time and convenience to set up alerts and keep an eye on a product from your smartphone.
3. You're not restricted to retailer hours
Not everyone can get to the Black Friday sales during brick-and-mortar store hours (the people working in these stores, for example). The beauty of online shopping is that you can shop at a time that best suits you, making it easy to shop at strategic points across your working day, or even in the early hours of the morning.
4. Online only retailers
Amazon Black Friday deals are arguably one of the biggest draws in the Black Friday sales and, as far as we’re aware, you’re not going to be able to get into a physical Amazon store to get any bargains.
As most retailers now have websites which allow you to access the same stock as their physical stores, going out into the real world sales actually leaves you more likely to miss out on a price cut that you'll only get online, like one of Amazon’s own Fire TV devices or Kindles.
With retailers now realising just how many of their customers are now shopping on their phones, it should be much easier to shop everywhere from anywhere.
5. Browsing is easier
Black Friday offers happen in such a large number stores that from a price overview and comparison perspective, it just makes more sense to do all of your shopping online.
Even if you’re looking for something specific like a PlayStation 4, it’s much easier to shop across four different stores when they’re a simple tab switch away than it is to traverse a high street or, god forbid, drive through holiday traffic to get to it. This means you’re going to get what you want for the absolute best price possible and you won’t be so easily tempted into an impulse buy in the first store you visit.
From a general browsing perspective it makes even more sense. Despite the fact that some of the deals are timed, there’s a greater sense of leisure browsing online, partly because you don’t have people physically snatching things from your hands.
There are few things less enjoyable than being in a pressured and busy sales environment when you’re not 100% sure what you want, so having a peaceful environment to browse through every smartwatch on offer will make the experience more enjoyable.
It’s the difference between a first person online shooter and a turn-based strategy game – being online gives a greater sense of distance from the chaos so you can get a better overview and make more measured purchases.
Bonus reason 6. You can avoid people you don't like and spend more time with the people you do
It’s easier to make Black Friday shopping feel like a family activity when you’re sitting together in the living room, rather than venturing out into the bleak wilderness, sending your children off to the toys aisle not sure if you’ll ever see them again.
We’ve seen it on news segments and we’ve seen photos on social media - Black Friday has the capacity to get feral. You can see the holiday spirit drain from shoppers’ eyes as they contemplate garotting one another with their home-knitted scarves when stocks begin to deplete.
Maintain your holiday spirit; don your pyjamas, switch on Netflix, and draw up a shopping strategy with the people you love most. No fist fights involved. Probably.