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Retail & E-Commerce 10.16.20 BLOG 

Black Friday 2020: What Will It Look Like?

Lulu Jones, Marketing Lead, Travel & Retail


Black Friday 2020: What Will It Look Like?

It’s almost midnight on Thanksgiving. A line of post-food-coma consumers wraps around the local Best Buy. Employees prepare themselves as they open the flood gates to let mobs of people swarm the aisles in hopes of snagging the year’s best deals on the latest gadgets.

It can be no other than Black Friday.

But what will happen this year with social distancing guidelines and mask mandates in place?

The Importance of Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving, an all-American holiday has become a ubiquitous part of the year for countries all over the world and the unofficial marker to begin the holiday season.

With 30% of all retail sales happening between Black Friday and Christmas, this shopping holiday is something that no retailer can ignore – especially since many consumers wait for this timeframe to do most of their holiday shopping.

Black Friday 2019

In 2019, 93.2 million shoppers from 129 countries took part in Black Friday, proving that this is not just a Western affair. The top five countries for Black Friday revenue outside the United States were the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Russia.

The total revenue for 2019’s shopping event came to $7.4 billion – a $1.2 billion increase from the previous year. Mobile payments also saw an uptick with 61% of all transactions coming from a mobile device for a total of $2.9 billion in revenue.

So, what does this year’s event have in store?

Black Friday 2020

2020 has been chaotic, to say the least, from all perspectives. The ongoing pandemic has affected the economy and everything in it, so how will it affect consumer shopping habits for such a highly anticipated event?

Here are some predictions for what Black Friday may be like this year and beyond:

No More In-Person Shopping

Say goodbye to the usual news stories of people queuing for hours outside stores like Best Buy and Target with fights breaking out over the most-discounted flat-screen TVs. With Walmart announcing they will be closed this year, others are sure to follow suit.

Digital is Taking Over

Since the amount of people shopping in-person will decrease, creating engaging digital experiences is the most important thing for a retailer can focus on. Plus, 64% of consumers say they will spend more money shopping online compared to last year. Ensuring customers have a seamless digital journey will lead to even more sales.

Promote Curbside Pick-Up

With in-person shopping dwindling, brick and mortar stores have learned to serve their purpose by enabling curbside pick-up. This makes it super easy and convenient for customers to pick up their goods. 55% of customers say they’ll continue to utilize this service through the year, so not offering it could cost you potential sales.

Social Media is Crucial

What retail currently lacks in real-life experiences, it can make up for using social media. 87% of shoppers believe that social media helps them make purchase decisions. It pays to make sure your ecommerce strategy takes advantage of the built-in services social platforms have to offer, such as Instagram Shops.

Stores in Virtual Reality

There is something special about going into a store and being able to touch and experience products first-hand. So, what can retailers do to fill this gap? Storefront, an online marketplace, has partnered with AR specialist Obsess to help retailers bring their in-store experience to customers online.

Early Bird Catches the Worm

To take the pressure off digital infrastructures, offers may start earlier and go on for longer to make sure that ecommerce sites aren’t overwhelmed solely on Black Friday. This has become common place since introducing other shopping holidays like Cyber Monday.

Are the days of store openings at 6 pm on Thanksgiving and viral videos of Black Friday fist fights over? No one can be sure. But it is safe to say Black Friday 2020 will be exceptionally different from recent years.


Want to learn how TransPerfect can help your business prepare for Black Friday and beyond? Say hi to the team at to find out more.

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