Black Friday isn’t an Irish tradition but seasonal spending is nothing new to us. Traditionally, the 8th of December was a busy shopping day in towns and cities on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Country people, in particular, would take a holiday and go to town to begin their Christmas shopping.

Similarly, in the United States, the day after Thanksgiving is a day off for many people. It’s a popular day to go shopping, and businesses encourage that with sales and offers. This is the origin of Black Friday, but as shopping moved online, the idea went global.

The internet has changed the way we do business. Last week, IE Domain Registry published its annual Digital Health Index of Irish SMEs, which  revealed that, of businesses that have a website, 32% can process payments online – up from 20% in 2014. And, while there is some way to go in terms of digital engagement, 87% of Irish SMEs now have at least one digital asset.

Now there is a lot of concern about the impact of needless consumerism – this is right and proper. At Blacknight, we believe strongly in the benefits of ecommerce and its power to level the playing field for small and local enterprises. But no one should buy things that they don’t need and we all need to think about the total cost – not just to ourselves, but to the environment as well.

“It’s the thought that counts”: that’s a cliché when it comes to gifts, but it’s never been truer. Critics of online shopping say that its ease and convenience facilitate thoughtless consumerism. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We’d like to encourage consumers to think before they click. Think about the quality and sustainability of what you buy online. Think about supporting local businesses and Irish jobs and communities. Think about supporting companies who are committed to ethical trading and environmental responsibility. Think about what these values mean to you, and to the person for whom you are buying.

And if you are in business, don’t leave it all for the big names like Amazon to scoop up. People choose to shop online because their lives are busy and they want to get the best value for themselves and their families. Why not give them the opportunity to spend, thoughtfully, with you? If you’re proud of your product and service; your company values and your contribution in the community; then you should put it all out there, online, and give people the choice to support you.

At Blacknight, that’s how we feel about Black Friday. We’ll be sending out a special email this Friday, not just with our offers and bargains, but others as well. Would you like us to tell our subscribers about your Black Friday Sale? Click here to send us the details (or complete the embedded form below), and we’ll include your offer in our Black Friday Bonus Bulletin!

Make sure you get your copy of the email also. Click here to check if you’re subscribed.

Based in Carlow, Blacknight is the leading Irish-owned provider of domains, web hosting and cloud services – we’re proud members of Guaranteed Irish.

Update: thanks to everyonie who submitted their deals for our Black Friday Bulletin. It is published here.