Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

I do not go out on Black Friday. That’s not to say I do not like the idea of Christmas shopping; I just prefer to shop when everyone else isn’t. And I also appreciate the advent of online shopping. It’s great to be able to find that one present your daughter asked for in a matter of minutes and have it delivered to your door. So which is more sustainable?

It’s all in how you define sustainability. And we all know that there are multiple definitions. If you are talking strictly about carbon footprint, there are a few studies out there that calculate a more sustainable shopping experience online. These tend to be a little dated, and with new, more sustainable shipping variations, I’m not sure that the old carbon footprint assumptions apply. If I buy three items from Amazon at the same time, and they are shipped from the same warehouse in the same box, that is more sustainable than if they are being sourced from three different stores in three different boxes. But what if I have to return something?

Also, I still have to buy wrapping paper, so if I am going to the store for that anyway, shouldn’t I just head over to the store and buy gifts during the same trip?

On the other hand, buying local can be very sustainable. And the Saturday following Black Friday is Small Business Saturday, an event started by American Express to help support small businesses, many of which produce and sell locally.

But while it would seem obvious that locally produced food would be more sustainable than food items shipped, other products may not be so cut and dry. Does the local business sell a product completely created in its area, or are materials shipped from far locations? We know many major retailers have embraced energy efficiency and supply chain sustainability, but do we know that about a local store?

What I do know is that there are many traditional brick and mortar stores that embrace both events. As an example, Kohl’s announced special deals for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

So while the pessimist might say they are playing both sides of the street, the optimist may look at it as serving the needs of two different markets: It offers traditional experiences AND provides the opportunity for the sustainably minded to select the option they feel is most sustainable.

Whatever you select, I wish you a happy holiday season.

About the Author

Jim Lyza

Jim Lyza

Jim is a former contributor to Shelton Insights.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Laila Waggoner

VP Client Engagement

Laila leads our client engagement process, overseeing activities from both a strategic and a tactical level to ensure our work generates desired results – and clients’ satisfaction. She brings 25+ years of marketing leadership experience to her client relationships, with particular expertise in the homebuilding and remodeling industries as well as member-driven organizations, such as the Vinyl Siding Institute and Plastics Pipe Institute. Before joining Shelton Group, she led strategic marketing teams for Owens Corning’s insulation business.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Glen L. Vesser III

VP Finance and Administration

Glen manages Shelton Group’s finances and administration, ensuring our internal systems run smoothly so we can provide exceptional client service in a seamless and timely manner. Glen’s financial and administrative expertise has been shaped by decades of experience in a variety of industries, including public accounting, media distribution and health care.

Mike Beamer

VP Business Development

Mike joined our team to help provide strategic vision and foster our agency’s growth by overseeing new business leads and managing agency marketing and website content. He arrived in Knoxville steeped in energy efficiency and renewables – he previously led client service for an agency division in Boston dedicated to marketing communications strategy and branding for B2B and B2C clients in that space.