Difference Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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A company grows when its reputation grows. Reputation can be acquired in many ways and a sure-shot way to achieve this is through offering discounts and marketing them right. The most popular forms of mass deals are the famous holiday sales: Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays. While we’ve heard all about them in TV series and movies, what kind of deals do they actually offer and how are they different?

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday

The main difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the time of the year when the events begin. Black Friday is conducted on the Friday of the weekend following thanksgiving whereas Cyber Monday is conducted on Monday which comes after Black Friday.

Difference Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Black Friday Cyber Monday
Event Date Black Friday occurs on Friday the weekend after thanksgiving. Cyber Monday occurs three days after Black Friday.
Origin Black Friday first started on September 24th, 1869 Cyber Monday first made a debut on November 28th, 2005
Shopper Benefits Black Friday usually offers discounts on large and famous brands. Cyber Monday offers discounts on small businesses and electronic brands.
Online Purchasing Black Friday sales are usually operated in traditional, physical stores. Cyber Monday sales are largely operated through online stores and respective websites.
Cost of Organization Organizing a Black Friday would result to be more expensive due to all the advertisements, staff, and marketing costs. Organizing a Cyber Monday is comparatively less expensive since most of the sales are through online systems.
Planning Shoppers will have more time to plan for a Black Friday since most of the deals and discount offers are typically marketed weeks in advance. Shoppers do not have much time to plan for Cyber Monday since most of the deals are lightning deals that are released or advertised around thanksgiving.
Speed of Sales Black Friday deals are announced weeks in advance but will still have slower sales comparatively. Cyber Monday deals are announced as more of a surprise and thus are said to come and go very quickly.
Shipping Costs Black Friday deals have a comparatively larger portion of stores that sell in conventional, physical stores and thus, fewer chances of acquiring shipping charges. Cyber Monday deals are more online-oriented and thus have higher chances of the shopper attracting shipping charges upon shopping.
Examples Some popular items that are on sale on Black Friday are gardening items, Laptops, Headphones, kitchen items, etc. Some popular items that are on sale on Cyber Monday are Clothes, shoes, travel items, toys, beauty products, etc.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is described as the Friday that follows the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. that celebrates special offers, deals, and discounts. People usually regard it as the beginning of the shopping season of the holidays where even large stores and brands offer huge discounts on a wide range of products. Sometimes, all the sales made on this day are employed as a litmus test to analyze the country’s economic condition to measure the average confidence of an American while he/she spends. A few of the items that are commonly offered discounts on are general toys, electronics such as headphones, laptops, kitchen accessories and appliances, bath products, cosmetics, etc.

History of Black Friday

However thrilling the event of lack Friday may be to all the enthusiastic shoppers, trying to grab the most appealing deal of all, the origin of this story isn’t as appealing as the event sounds to be. While most readers around the world must have been familiar with the more positive or rather, wholesome version of the story that goes: the shopaholics were so thrilled throughout the holidays that they would crowd the local retailers, stores, and malls that this surge would leave the retailers “in the black” for the rest of the year. Thus, the Friday that comes after the day of thanksgiving was termed the black Friday and thus unofficially became the trend since then.

However, let us look at how the term actually came to use. The earliest records trace back to 1869 when the use of ‘Black Friday’ had absolutely nothing to do with Christmas or thanksgiving, or even shopping for that matter. Usually, when a day or event is precedented by the term ‘black’, it indicates that they were bad. Similarly, the earliest traces originate from the crash of the market due to the plummeting gold prices in the U.S. This was because of two people named Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, two immoral opportunists who tried to make quick money after the civil war. This was right when the nation’s economy was broken to pieces and Gould & Fisk stowed away as much as they can in this time of crisis. This was all a part of their vicious plan to ‘buy for less and sell for more, resulting in a ginormous amount of profit. According to sources, the two walked off with a whopping 60 million USD to the bank after their crooked plan panned out successfully.

To make matters worse, they even made connections with the brother-in-law of Ulysses S. Grant who was the president at that time. They made this strategic move by using their political connections to stop the gold from being released by the government into the market. However, President Grant made the fateful choice of releasing millions of dollars of gold into circulation, allowing the value of gold to decrease enormously. This was an indirect punishment, a cold hit if you will, to the crooked pair of Gould and Fisk who eventually failed in their ‘get rich quick’ scheme and lost millions in their journey. Thus, the day was known as ‘black Friday ever since.

Besides the economic origins of the term, it was also initially used by traffic cops or regular cops who’d have to work extra hard to deal with the crowd in the holiday season. It was widely used in Philadelphia when the football game between the army and the navy would create huge crowds, even mobs, that would lead to shoplifting crimes. The cops would have to break their heads over trying to maintain order and even work extra shifts, supporting the dubbing of the infamous event like Black Friday.

Benefits of Shopping on a Black Friday

  • Huge sales and deals on popular brands that allow people to have great financial benefits.
  • Conventional stores allow physical shopping where you can see and touch what you're buying, thus allowing the shopper to have a better retailing experience.
  • It is a great time to buy gifts for friends and family for a cheap price than on most normal days, especially for last-minute shopping.
  • Retail therapy is real! And what better way to buy quality items at cheap prices and thus a win-win!
  • Since Black Friday attracts a lot of crowds owing to their fantastic discounts, the stores will need extra staff to do crowd control and maintain order. Thus, there is a good chance that there will more employment offers, at least for the holiday season when people can make some extra cash.

Disadvantages of Shopping on a Black Friday

  • While people can plan their purchases for weeks, it can easily lead to overspending since all the deals can be pretty appealing.
  • Catfishing is another technique to attract customers by putting out fake deals. This means that the original prices are increased and the discount offered will just reduce the changed price to the original price. Thus the shoppers aren’t profiting by anyway. It could also mean that the products being sold are usually not of good quality. There are many such ways that retailers can cut costs by cutting quality.
  • There is a huge amount of time wastage as the crowds and the waiting lines can be too big if the shoppers get late.
  • Some crowds can have a mob mentality, turning the day of discounts into a huge mess and a sport of violence as shoppers fight to claim the quality items. It is really hard to control such chaos caused by overzealous shoppers who’d do anything to prioritize their shopping plans, even over others’ safety!

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday was originally initiated as an online competition to the physical, conventional stores that most retailers offer on the weekend that thanksgiving occurs. Although both these events are considered counterpoints to each other, Cyber Monday has become more of an online extension of Black Friday sales that people can acquire in case they missed anything on the weekend. Retailers hosting such Cyber Monday offers can market their deals and offers creatively to attract customers and a few of such techniques are:

  • By running several campaigns on different social media websites.
  • Collaborations with other companies that may or may not have the same niche.
  • Stocking up on all the products to meet the customers’ demands.
  • Paid advertising can greatly improve the popularity of your brand/store.
  • Email marketing helps spread the word about sales and is a very convenient way to do so.

Pros of Hosting a Cyber Monday

  • It is a popular technique to attract more audiences and netizens to their websites and thus, resulting in higher network traffic and boosting their SEO score. While other miscellaneous offers on routine days do gather some attention, event-specific deals can garner significantly more audience, even before the event actually starts.
  • When customers are bestowed with unique deals, it always helps in boosting the sale numbers as the shoppers feel special. One example of offering personalized deals is Onesta’s ‘Name of the Week’ which offers 50% off on their unlimited meals to whoever has a certain word in their name they release that particular week. Such personalized deals encourage customers to visit the stores more often.
  • Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday can allow small discounts to attract higher audiences. Thus, the retailers do not have to sell any of their items at a loss to garner an audience or customers. When planned strategically, small discounts can hike the holiday sales and thus, a little goes a long way.
  • Cyber Monday sales aren’t exactly announced weeks ahead like Black Friday and thus, the customers must be up on their feet all the time to search for the deals they really want to acquire.

Cons of Hosting a Cyber Monday

  • Since Cyber Monday deals are significantly lesser than those deals offered on a Black Friday, the retailers cannot compromise on the product quality to compensate for all the loss through discounts and cut production costs. Thus, Cyber Monday hosts will need to strike a balance between product quality and selling prices.
  • While customer loyalty is a good thing to get customers to frequent the store, some overzealous shoppers might still want to further reduce the prices as much as they can and thus, will try and bargain their way even after the discount.
  • Most modern online sales have been emphasizing the quick deliveries feature over the price and thus, do not really prefer the discounts and nor are attracted to them. Thus, they won't attract any customers.

Main Differences Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday In Points

  • Black Friday occurs on the weekend after thanksgiving whereas Cyber Monday occurs two days after Black Friday.
  • Black Friday first began on 24th September 1869 whereas Cyber Monday first began on 28th November 2005.
  • Black Friday typically offers discounts and deals on large, popular brands whereas Cyber Monday offers discounts and deals on small businesses.
  • Black Friday is usually hosted in conventional, physical stores. On the other hand, Cyber Monday sales are dominated by online sales and websites.
  • Shoppers usually plan their purchases weeks ahead of the actual event whereas Cyber Monday doesn't offer such luxuries as the deals aren't announced as early as its counterpart.
  • Cyber Monday sales come and go very quickly whereas Black Friday sales last longer.
  • Black Friday deals do not charge for shipping services whereas Cyber Monday deals are all online and will be charged for shipping separately.


From the above discussions, we can summarize that Black Fridays are all about large discounts on famous brands through physical, conventional stores whereas Cyber Mondays offer small discounts on smaller or average businesses through online sales or brand websites.



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"Difference Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-319>.

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