The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Online shopping dominates Black Friday weekend sales

Audrey Gong
As soon as the Stanford Shopping Center opens on Black Friday, shoppers go from store to store, eagerly looking for deals. Almost every store at the Stanford Shopping Center has an online retailer, causing many consumers to browse products from their homes or on-the-go instead of in-store.

With just a simple click, holiday shoppers conveniently purchased gifts and personal items online over the Thanksgiving weekend while sitting in the comfort of their homes.

In past years, the night before Black Friday, parking lots of large retail stores were filled with shoppers — items sold out as soon as doors opened, which used to be the standard. But those days are gone this year no major stores opened the night before. 

The five-day period of deals awaits consumers from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, which happens mostly through online transactions now instead of in-person retailers, according to the Nation Retail Foundation (NRF). 

According to the Pew Research Center, since the COVID-19 pandemic and the growth of social media, online shopping has been more appealing to consumers, especially during the holiday season. The three main factors for consumers are convenience, safety regarding health and transactions, and the advancement of technology.

“I prefer online shopping during the holiday season because shopping malls can get really crowded due to holiday sales, so sometimes it is not a fun environment to shop in,” said Ashlynn Son, a Carlmont sophomore.

Online shopping has been one of the biggest shifts in consumerism. Even when shopping in person, many consumers research online and then go in-store to make the final purchase. 

“Nowadays, big retailers also offer integrated omnichannel experiences, such as online orders with in-store pickup, in-store return, and shipping to the store,” said Tao Chen, a marketing professor at Johns Hopkins University

An estimated 182 million people planned to shop online and in stores during the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey conducted by NRF in 2023.

“Most of the stores I shop at have an online feature, whether an app or website,” Son said. 

In terms of convenience, most people choose online shopping.

“Online retailers make it easy to search exactly what you are looking for in such a short amount of time, which is so convenient,” Son said. 

In 2005, Cyber Monday made its debut. Events like this push online shopping forward, encouraging consumers to shop online. 

“In the past, there was Black Friday for in-store promotions and Cyber Monday promotions for online stores. Now they are all combined into one extended promotion period,” Chen said. 

“Specifically for Black Friday sales, we saw slightly more people using online channels than in-person channels based on some surveys conducted by NRF in 2022,” Chen said. “Online shopping is very convenient and saves consumers the travel cost to stores. Consumers can easily shop in multiple online stores at home.”

Another concern for consumers is safety. After the lift of pandemic restrictions, health safety concerns have affected many individuals’ social activities, including in-person shopping. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, after the pandemic, some Americans continue to take health precautions in stores where they shop. 

The pandemic gave online shopping a permanent boost. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that online commerce has continued to rise since the pandemic. 

While health safety is prioritized, online transactions also play a significant role in how online shopping dominates. As technology develops, online transactions have become safer and more reliable. 

“People feel increasingly comfortable making online transactions with fewer hackers,” said John Rowe, one of Carlmont’s business teachers.

Alongside the development of technology and security, the accessibility of social media also began its uprising.

“I usually find sales through social media because most of the creators I follow talk about fashion and online retailers,” Son said.

Three in ten adults are likely to have purchased something through a social media influencer, according to the Pew Research Center

There will likely be a switch where social media will not just be for talking about products, it will be about selling products too.

— John Rowe

According to Forbes, 96.9 million people in the United States shop on social media. In the future, as technology continues to advance, people will likely shift to online shopping completely. 

“There will be a time when you can walk into a virtual 3D showcase with the Oculus headset on to try things,” Rowe said. 

Companies like Meta, have been working towards new features like the Metaverse, which will modernize shopping even more, keeping it primarily online.

“There will be advancements between companies and consumers to be able to preview products online,” Rowe said. “We certainly still have a long way to go with online shopping.”

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About the Contributor
Audrey Gong
Audrey Gong, Staff Writer
Audrey Gong (Class of 2026) is a sophomore at Carlmont, and this is her first year as a staff writer for Scot Scoop. She is also one of the sophomore class vice presidents and a member of the Carlmont Varsity Dance Team. She enjoys dancing, hanging out with friends and family, baking, and listening to music.  

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