Comment: Black Friday 2020 is shaping up to be unlike any before

With Black Friday 2020 on the horizon, it appears as though this year’s big holiday shopping event is shaping up to be unlike any we’ve ever seen before. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many areas of our daily lives, and that remains particularly true with how we shop in 2020. This year’s Black Friday event is going to have a different feel than ever before, with multiple retailers closed on Thanksgiving and the days following and instead moving doorbusters and other operations online. That means the traditional wait-in-line experience we’ve come to love is likely to go to the wayside across many regions. So what will this year’s event look like? I imagine how the next few weeks are going to shape up and offer a few shopping tips below.

A Black Friday unlike ever before

With quite a bit of certainty, it’s easy to see that Black Friday 2020 is going to have a different look and feel than years past. Of course, there will be plenty of deals to go around. But with in-store shopping expected to be noticeably lower this time around, it’s easy to guess that various retailers will be stepping up with even more aggressive Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers than ever before.

Shipping policies give an early hint

We’re already beginning to see a shifting landscape that looks different than previous years. Some stores aren’t even functioning anymore, gone to the wayside because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Others have shuttered hundreds of brick and mortar locations and have moved operations largely online.

One of the biggest signs of a shifting landscape for this year’s Black Friday is that we’ve yet to see the usual changes to shipping requirements. Last year, for example, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and others all offered up notable changes to their free shipping policies by now. This year? Nothing. With an expected increase in focus on online shopping this time around, it’s no surprise that retailers aren’t feeling the crunch to entice shoppers with discounted delivery and other perks. My guess is that all of the major players are expecting that online sales will be high this year, despite a lagging economy, so there’s less incentive to offer up no-cost delivery and the like.

So what will Black Friday entail?

Now that we’re officially into November, the Black Friday picture is beginning to take shape. The major players will be setting the pace as usual with deals on first-party devices from Amazon, Apple, Google, and many others. The primary thing to keep an eye on is what smaller retailers are doing.

Each year, some of the best deals are pushed along by secondary retailers. Not the Amazons, Best Buys, and the like, but stores that aren’t as mainstream. For example, somewhere like Microcenter or BJs. However, many of those smaller stores have been suffering this year, so it’s tough to guess what we can expect out of them.

What are you hoping for this Black Friday? Sound off in the comments below.

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