When you’re busy hunting down the best Black Friday deals, it’s easy to worry that deals are better elsewhere, and that doesn’t just apply to competing shops – sometimes in-store offers, and those you find online, can be much different.
So if you’re busy tracking down the best John Lewis Black Friday deals in store, or on its website clicking through menus, it’s hard not to feel like the grass is greener (or cheaper) on the other side.
To help you work out your plan of attack, whether you’ll get up to go to a John Lewis store at the crack of dawn or peruse the web from bed with a cup of tea, we’ve weighed the pros and cons of in-store, or online, shopping.
While Black Friday started as a physical event, with shoppers fighting over the best discounted products in the hallowed halls of chain stores, in recent years it’s become very much an online sensation, especially on mobile phones, and in 2018 over a third of Black Friday purchase, and over half Cyber Monday purchases, were made online.
Saying that, Black Friday is still the busiest day of the year for many stores in terms of foot traffic, and there are some other great reasons to visit shops in real life, as we’ll detail below.
1. Prices could be lower online
The price of your Black Friday deals is, of course, the most important part of your shopping experience, but you might find online shopping is the best way to get great discounts at John Lewis.
This is because John Lewis is offering to match the best Black Friday deals you can find online, as part of its ‘never knowingly undersold’ promise, however the retailer admits that you’ll find more price-matched deals online than in store.
“You may not always see these offers in store as it’s quicker to make price changes online”, according to the official John Lewis website. It’s instead directing customers to check out online prices for the most up-to-date deals.
So if you know what you want, and are just waiting to find the best deal on that one particular product, sticking with online shopping is the way to go. However there are other reasons physical shopping may be preferable.
2. Physical stores might be quieter
We know it’s crazy to suggests that on Black Friday of all days, physical shopping might be quieter than digital shopping, but hear us out.
Since most the Black Friday deals are digital nowadays, fewer and fewer customers will be popping to their local John Lewis to get great discounts (especially in stores that are out of the way, but shops in central places might be quite busy). You might not find the aisles and rooms of your local John Lewis much busier than normal.
Instead, shoppers will be scrolling through the John Lewis website, and taking items to the checkout that way – at the height of the sales frenzy, websites can see huge traffic, which sees them slow down and stutter when taking orders.
So, depending on where you live, you might find it actually quicker to pop to a real checkout than go through a digital one.
3. You can get great advice online and in-store
If you know what you want to buy on Black Friday, it’s easy to hunt for specific deals, but if your search is a little broader, like for any new Black Friday laptop deal or PS4 bundle, you can sometimes be presented with products you’re not familiar with, and it’s not always a great idea to buy just because something’s cheap.
Fortunately, whether you’re online or in person, there will be an expert on hand. John Lewis stores usually have assistants on hand, who are familiar with products and can advise you on the best purchase based on your requirements.
If you’re shopping online, you’ve got the best resource of all: TechRadar itself. We’ve got plenty of in-depth reviews on nearly every tech product you’ll be looking for over Black Friday, as well as guying guides that point you to the best kit if you’re not certain on what you need.
So whether you’re strolling through John Lewis stores or just its website, either way you’re sorted (although you can use TechRadar on mobile web when in a John Lewis shop if you bring your phone with you!).
4. Physical purchases can be used straight away
There’s a certain immediacy to buying something in store that you just don’t get if you order online. Sure, there’s often next-day delivery from many online shops, but that’ll cost a lot, especially if you’re buying in the midst of the Black Friday sales.
If you buy a new video game you want to play it straight away; if you’ve got a new phone you need to be testing its camera as soon as the money’s left your bank account; what’s the point in buying a new TV if you can’t spend your next week watching Netflix from it?
Walking into your local John Lewis, picking up you Black Friday purchases and taking it to the checkout yourself ensures you can play with it, use it, test it out, as soon as you get home (if not before) – without having to wait for a person in a van to eventually drop it at your house.
The days are getting shorter, the trees are nearly all bare, and at this point you sometimes need two coats to go outdoors – that means it’s okay to want to stay in bed instead of going to the shops.
No, it’s better to stay where you can browse the deals from the comfort of your bed, with a nice cup of tea and some biscuits. Online shopping takes far less effort, and there’s no shame in enjoying that fact.o to a big retailer to scout for deals.
No, it’s better to stay wrapped in your sheets where you can browse the deals from the comfort of your bed, with a nice cup of tea and some biscuits. Online shopping takes far less effort, and there’s no shame in enjoying that fact.