Black Friday has been a big day for deals and discounts since the 1950s but things are going to look a little different this November. The coronavirus pandemic has upended the usual calendar year, bringing an end to in-person social gatherings. This means that waiting in long lines for stores to open for access to the hottest-ticket item is a thing of the past. Where should you look for Black Friday 2020 deals?
New challenges also present an opportunity for new ideas and innovation. Companies will have to find virtual ways to lure customers to the best deals and discounts. Some major retailers have already introduced their Black Friday game plans, paving the way for Black Friday 2.0.
As we try to navigate an uncertain holiday season, here’s what Black Friday will look like in 2020:
A virtual shopping day
E-commerce has dominated the retail space for much of this year and it’s likely that this trend will continue into Black Friday as well. In a Covid-ridden world, large gatherings in enclosed spaces too much of a risk to take. Retailers will have to reinvent Black Friday to maximize their performance and attract customers to the hottest deals virtually.
Using e-commerce as a tool to attract shoppers this year allows companies to offer deals for more than just a single day. Many retailers are getting rid of the one-day shopping event and opting for a longer period of discounts and deals. Deals are expected to span over two months this year.
Walmart is among the first retailers to pave the way in its three-phase shopping event. The first phase will begin on November 4th with an online sale. This will be followed by a one-day in-store event on November 7th. There will be online deals available on this day as well. The final phase will take place online on November 25th and in-store on November 27th.
Black Friday 2020 Deals
Other major retailers have opted for a similar Black Friday rollout. Home Depot which sells home décor has announced that’s its deals will span over two months. This means customers are under no pressure to gather in crowds at their stores and can also shop for deals online. Target stated that its Black Friday 2020 deals will be available on its website through November. This will also include Target Deals Days which is a two-day event featuring more digital deals on the website.
There’s no doubt that Black Friday will look different this year. Many businesses will focus on e-commerce to drive in a majority of its revenue. Moreover, companies like Best Buy have announced that it will remain closed on Turkey Day. This is in contrast to pre-Covid Black Fridays when retailers would open their doors late on Thanksgiving Day.
A big focus on crowd control
For retailers that will hold in-person sales this Black Friday, crowd control will play a huge role in ensuring customer safety. Many public health officials have issued warnings on the increased risk of infection as people shop indoors this holiday season. States have also announced that they will restrict the number of people in a store at any given time.
Athleisure giant, Lululemon will combat the large crowds with pop-up shops which will help spread out the customers in an open space. Bath and Body Works announced that it will extend store hours to limit the crowds and spread the shopping. Many retailers are trying to strike a fine balance between in-store sales and online sales to avoid overcrowding physical locations.
Like much of this year, there is a lot of uncertainty as we head into the holiday season. For one, savings rates this year are at the highest they’ve ever been. This could dampen Black Friday sales as people become more conservative with their spending. A consequence of this is the inventory levels held by retailers. Many companies are trying to predict customer spending in an effort to avoid holdover inventory.
For what it’s worth, Black Friday has lost its allure over the last few years. With e-commerce dominating the retail space, many find that they can bag some great deals from the comfort of their home. The pandemic may be the demise of this once iconic shopping event.
Whatever Black Friday may have in store for us this year, one thing’s for certain: it will never be the same again.