Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a big deal, and they’re getting bigger every year: according to Barclaycard, which processes around half of all UK card payments, spending on Black Friday 2017 was 8% higher than on Black Friday 2016.
John Lewis experienced its busiest hour of online trading ever, while Argos claimed that over two million people visited its Black Friday website in just 4 hours.
If you don’t take a look, you’re probably missing out: in the UK, 91% of UK retailers took part in Black Friday 2017, while the figure was 81% in the US. That’s a lot of retailers, and those retailers offered a lot of deals.
So how can you find the best Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals in 2018?
When is Black Friday 2018?
Black Friday started in the US, and is the Friday immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday, so this year it’s November 23 2018.
When is Cyber Monday 2018?
It’s the Monday immediately after Black Friday, so Cyber Monday 2018 will fall on Monday November 26.
What’s the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
These days there isn’t really one – what are advertised as Black Friday deals often start to appear well before Black Friday, and are available beyond Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday was originally unconnected to Black Friday – the term was coined to mark the date when everybody went “Yikes! It’s nearly Christmas and I haven’t bought any presents!” and ordered tons of things online when they were supposed to be working.
There used to be a clearer division between the two dates, with Black Friday focusing largely on consumer electronics and Cyber Monday on things such as clothes and jewellery, but that’s largely gone now.
Instead, they’ve merged into what might more accurately be described as Black Friday And Cyber Monday And The Week Before And After And A Bit More If You’re Amazon. But that’s too long to type, and BFACMATWBAAAABMIYA is a terrible acronym – so let’s stick with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday matter
For consumers, the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales frenzy means a whole week or more of what appear to be good deals – and if you’re savvy, and take advantage of TechRadar's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals monitoring, you really can save a lot of money.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have changed the way we shop in the run-up to Christmas, and they’ve had a massive effect on the retail industry, especially online.
As James Miller, senior retail consultant at Experian Marketing Services, told the BBC: “there is little doubt Black Friday has dramatically changed the way people shop in the run-up to Christmas, and has created an expectation of deep discounts that arguably did not exist before”.
That’s good news for us and potentially bad news for retailers, because Black Friday and Cyber Monday don’t magically give us more money to spend. They just change when we spend our money, so perhaps rather than waiting until the week before Christmas to buy our presents we do it on Black Friday and Cyber Monday instead.
Once we’ve spent that money it’s spent, and if we’ve spent it on Amazon – one of the biggest proponents of Black Friday and Cyber Monday on either side of the Atlantic – then that money is lost to more local retailers.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are overwhelmingly online phenomena. Many retailers offer Black Friday deals in their physical stores (Cyber Monday, as the name suggests, has always been an online thing), but with a few headline-grabbing exceptions of the fistfight-in-a-supermarket kind it doesn’t significantly increase footfall.
In fact, there’s some evidence that it has the opposite effect, with tumbleweed blowing down high streets as we all shop from our homes, schools or workplaces instead.