Small businesses look for boost during Black Friday shopping and online sales

Is online shopping the future?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Black Friday shopping is coming to a close across the country.

Although many people still turn out to participate in the shopping holiday, many enjoy picking out items from the comfort of their own homes.

This can sometimes have a negative effect on locally owned businesses, especially if they do not have an online presence.

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This is the first Black Friday that Shawana Boyer did online-only sales for her boutique, Synsha Fashions.

The store owner used to have a storefront on the Westside, but recently, she packed it all up and switched to online only. Now, she’s running the business from her home.

Boyer began her journey selling women’s clothing back in 2016. She said three weeks ago, she decided to make this big transition.

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“It just caused a little strain on me.” Boyer said. “So, I just came up with the conclusion that it was just time for me to just shift.”

Adobe Analytics said it has seen a 38% boost in sales for big retail companies this holiday season compared to 16% for small businesses.

“Sometimes people go to those bigger chains to support the bigger chains because they’re probably wearing a larger discount,” Boyer said. “Because they can afford to do that.“

Some brick-and-mortar businesses, including several in St. Johns Town Center, are offering 'buy online, pick up in store' options to compete with online-only retailers, like Synsha Fashions.

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Boyer said last year, she made $6,000 from online and in-store sales combined over the Black Friday weekend. She predicts she will bring in more than $7,000 this year.

Boyer listed several reasons people like to shop online: “Shopping in the comfort of their home, they don’t have to worry about gas and being bombarded with people in the stores.”

Still, hundreds of people brave the crowds to shop in person on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Forbes said the turnout is only down by 1.7%.

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