Expert predicts changes to the future of Black Friday following COVID-19

Marketing experts say the Black Friday shopping tradition could be very different in the future after the impacts of the pandemic.

This year, a lot of box stores, like Target, Walmart and Best Buy have changed their normal Black Friday shopping deals. Instead of single day, or weekend flash sales, stores have offered discounts throughout the entire month.

Another big change is a lot of these deals are also available online.

“When you think COVID and Black Friday it has the potential to change the way we do this holiday shopping forever,” said Jeff Shulman.

Shulman is a Marketing Professor at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

He says it may be time for folks to start reimagining how they go about their Black Friday shopping.

“Don’t wait for a better deal. If you see a good deal, now is the time to grab it,” he said.

Shulman says this change also gives local businesses a chance to attract customers away from big box stores.

“Now is the time to get creative,” he said. So, as a small business, it’s time to think about how can you cater the online experience to match what you’re trying to bring in the brick and mortar retail,” said Shulman.

For local business owners like Stephanie Hara, it’s an effort she has been working on for the last year.

“I will, at this point, try anything to have more sales,” she said.

Like a lot of business owners, Hara says this year has been difficult.

She relies heavily on the holiday season for big sales and revenue. With restrictions in place for in-store shopping, due to COVID-19, she is putting an emphasis on social media and online shoppers. However, she says she’s not the only one doing this.

“The competition to gain those customers and those sales, I think, is even harder this year, just because everybody is doing everything online and really pushing deep discounts,” she said.

Hara says the support from the local community for local businesses is what is helping her, and other owners get through.

For Black Friday deals and information click here.