Everyone is expecting Black Friday this time of the year, but 2020 has been a year of change due to the pandemic, and this event is no exception. Local stores and retailers had to transform the holiday shopping season to avoid the spreading of COVID, because attracting hordes of people to shop at their stores is no longer a possibility. Black Friday used to motivate people to camp outside malls and wait in line for hours, but such activities are too risky nowadays, therefore, we are facing a new way of doing things.
One of the first measures retailers took to lure customers was to offer curbside pickup and delivery, and to expand the amount of time on online doorbuster deals to cash in. They are also generating innovative shopping promotions like free gifts and pre-booked shopping times. And they have started earlier this year; the Sales Black Friday has initiated in October, unlike the past years, and will continue throughout November. All these measures are to keep shoppers and employees safe from the coronavirus. Even though the sales were extended earlier, people will still find huge discounts after Thanksgiving, but it is visible Black Friday is changing and is no longer the beginning of holiday shopping.
Local businesses are trying to compete with the deals offered by the megastores and national chains, so they are offering special shopping experiences and free gifts during the shopping season. Because of the virus, those gifts and experiences can no longer be the same as when people could crowd in the store; this is why they are inviting clients to book private time for shopping in small groups. Moreover, even if the customers would like, food and drinks could be added to the shopping experience.
Of course, every retailer is also adding more online shopping benefits and options, for that is the preferable way to shop nowadays due to the pandemic. One of these options is the possibility to shop virtually; it consists in walking throughout the store for 30 minutes during a private virtual appointment guided by a team member of the store, who will help you find whatever you are looking for. Reservations for such experiences costs about $20, and then it turns into credit on items for the same amount.
Research shows that 60% of the buyers will purchase most of their holiday’s gifts online, and this percentage is very likely to increase from now on. Therefore, those who love and enjoy strolling around the aisles in the store may be a little frustrated this year. In case you must go out shopping at a store, we recommend anticipating and making a list of what you need, so you know exactly what to purchase and you can make it as quick as possible.
Many megastores have changed the Black Friday agenda to adjust to this new way of doing things during the pandemic. Several of them will be closed on the day of Thanksgiving, and the majority will work ensuring the necessary measures to prevent the virus from spreading, like capacity constraints, the mandatory use of masks and social distancing.
Most Customers Choose Curbside Pickup
It seems buyers are still spending the same amount of money, or even more, on their holiday shopping as they did last year. It is a way of keeping traditions alive and to feel normal in spite of the hard times we are dealing with worldwide.
Most of these customers are online shoppers, and due to the number of people shopping online the delivery of products are presenting delays, so it is important to consider curbside pickup when purchasing online. This will even allow you to save money on shipping fees, especially if you are buying a heavy item like exercise equipment or a big TV, and it can also make you feel like if you did go shopping at your favorite store after all!
Curbside pickup is a safe way for customers to acquire their holiday shopping; that way they don´t have to go into the store; they can buy their gifts from the safety of their home and whenever the packages are ready they can pick them up without having to wait for delivery time.