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The rules of Black Friday use to be very simple: get in line, wait, and when the doors open, take no pity on the person next to you. Well, that’s not how it goes anymore, at least for the most part. Of course, there still are people who head into battle every Black Friday looking for those doorbuster deals.

But things have changed. Black Friday, including Cyber Monday, have evolved into a much more sophisticated, not so risky, form of shopping. Many are going online, doing research well in advance and staying away from the madness. So what’s to believe these days when it comes to Black Friday shopping? Here’s 4 myths surrounding Black Friday.

Most Shoppers Shop In-Store

This is becoming less and less of a truth as shoppers are turning to online sales. Black Friday sales in 2013 saw $1.198 billion in desktop sales, making it the season’s first billion dollar day. This was a 15% increase from 2012. Also, 57% of people said they would rather shop online than battling the armies waiting in line for stores to open. It’s becoming quite apparent that online shopping is becoming to the go-to strategy for Black Friday.

Black Friday Is Better Than Cyber Monday

Although Black Friday still holds the upper hand, Cyber Monday is beginning to carve out its own niche when it comes to holiday shopping. Compared to Black Friday’s $1.198 billions in desktop sales in 2013, Cyber Monday went above and beyond with $1.735 billion in desktop spending, an 18% increase from 2012. Since it’s first year in 2006, Cyber Monday sales have increased every year, with 2009 as the only year to not experience more than a 15% increase.

Black Friday Deals Begin on Black Friday

Stores and online deals begin opening up earlier and earlier every year. This year, Black Friday deals will actually start rolling out on Thanksgiving. Retailers are looking to get a head start on the competition, which means Black Friday is starting on Thursday.This should be a red alert when creating your digital marketing plan. Perhaps you might want to consider getting your deals out earlier as well.

Not All Deals Are Advertised In Advance

Although most shoppers will lock themselves in a dark room and begin their covert operation of research for Black Friday, not all deals and specials will be known in advance. Shoppers and retail stores need to remain active online during these crazy days. Retailers need to be continuously rolling out new deals and specials during the frenzy, while shoppers keep their eyes out for these last-minute specials.

Black Friday, and the entire shopping season for that matter, is continuously changing and evolving. Just because your Black Friday techniques, whether you’re a shopper or a retailer, paid off big a few years ago, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to do the same this year. It’s important to keep an eye on what happened the last few years and try and predict what will happen this year based on those trends.

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