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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Levin

What Will Black Friday and Cyber Monday Look Like During A Pandemic?

Wondering what Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) might look like this year? The year of 2020…Covid-19…Pandemic…shelter at home…

Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s have announced that their stores will be closed on Thanksgiving. This not only breaks the early-bird markdown crowd attracting tradition, but this is unprecedented, these stores have never been closed on Thanksgiving.

Retailers will be starting Black Friday deals in October. Partly to do with Amazon Prime Day being a week earlier this year, which also means that deals will be running longer.

BFCM will be incredibly different in 2020 simply because there will be limited in-store customers. Retailers must be ready with their omnichannel strategy and use first-party data to target current clients.

Over the past months, the retail industry has been talking about BFCM and through out the discussion we are seeing the following predictions, takeaways, challenges and planning.


  • Brands believe that shoppers will buy more online this (BFCM)

  • Consumers are looking for good deals and they will be starting in October

  • Brands will offer extended promotions beyond the weekend into the holiday season

  • More of the BCFM budget will be spent to increase sales and acquire new customers

  • Shoppers are going to bounce across different devices prior to completing purchases

  • With 61% of online transaction in 2019 being via mobile, customer engagement via SMS or push notification is something retailers should be prepared to incorporate


  • If looking to acquire new customers, offer discounts.

Among Shopify Plus brands surveyed…

77% of them plan to run promotions on BFCM weekend

66% would start their promos the week before Black Friday, or even earlier

32% plan to extend promotions into the week following Cyber Monday or later

22% look to tie into Giving Tuesday

  • Cross-device tracking is a must-have to deliver a seamless, customer-centric journey.

  • Retailers should plan on providing offers, deals and reminders with customers via SMS and push notifications.

  • Consider implementing a flash sale. Studies show that flash sales can grow traffic by 51%, 50% rise in conversion rates and a 236% increase in revenue. Flash sales are a great way to not only boost sales and revenue, but they also draw customer to you online store before BFCM.


  • With more people shopping online than in-person, delivery challenges due to shipping carrier’s abilities. Consider buy online, pickup in store if possible.

  • Online outages. Yes, in 2019 several large retailers experience outages that infuriated customers and forced customers to buy from competitors. Even Facebook and Instragram were impacted by widespread Black Friday outages. With more customers shopping online this year brands need to be prepared for outages so talk to your IT team to ensure stability and a recovery plan in needed.


  • BFCM is one of the largest sales events of the year. And planning starts well in advance, September or October for most brands. Some even start as early as 12 months. During planning, brands are looking at budget allocation, product strategy, sales channels, and promotions. Most of the budget spent will be allocated to marketing efforts, with a portion going to inventory, shipping and fulfillment.

  • According to Shopify’s research, more than two-thirds surveyed (68%) anticipate spending most of their BFCM budget on marketing, as to where…

Last Tip:

If you don’t already offer free shipping, set it up ASAP! Not offering free shipping is the #1 reason for abandoned carts.

Have you started planning yet? If not, here’s are some resources to help.


CMCollective is a growth marketing firm focused on digital marketing and strategy. We are your marketing partner who understands brands and the marketing efforts needed to boost growth and results. We are an extension of your organization, helping you grow boldly and quickly by creating and implementing results-driven digital strategy. CMCollective specializes in Business and Marketing Strategy, Mobile App Strategy and Management, Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, and eCommerce/Website Strategy and Management.

* Content from Shopify came from their Market Insight team collection of data via online surveys between August 27, 2020 – September 4, 2020.

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