How to prepare for black friday shopping

The traditional kickoff to the busy holiday shopping season on Friday won’t look the same this year.

The crowds are expected to be smaller. Sales won’t be as prominent. And kids won’t get to sit on Santa’s lap for photos.

But still Black Friday remains an important day for retailers as it kicks off a month of holiday sales that the National Federation of Retailers says leads to nearly 20 percent of all retail sales for the year.

Stores and area malls have been preparing to safely welcome shoppers that still want to shop in person on Black Friday. Although it has been predicted to be a year spent online shopping, retailers are gearing up for the holiday shopping tradition.

While most stores began deals online as early as October, some shoppers are preparing to hit the stores for major markdowns on Black Friday. And Gordon Gough, CEO and president of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants said those looking to shop in stores can expect safe conditions if they follow safety guidelines and wear their masks.

“Really since the pandemic has begun our central retailers have been practicing the social distancing, all the CDC guidelines, and the state of Ohio guidelines. Our members who were not essential had a longer runway to get prepared for reopening back in May so the stores in Ohio are very safe,” he said.

Both the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons have implemented guidelines of their own as part of their code of conduct to ensure a safe shopping experience. In addition to social distancing and wearing masks, they ask shoppers not to gather in groups and adhere to individual store policies as well as state protocol for COVID-19 prevention.

“We are looking forward to offering guests a chance to enjoy holiday traditions while taking important safety precautions,” said Leanne Rubosky general manager of The Mall at Fairfield Commons in a statement. “The health and safety of our guests, retailers and employees is our top priority and we are adhering to the latest state and local guidelines to keep the best interest of our guests’ health and safety in mind.”

The Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons will open at 6 a.m. on Friday. The Greene Town Center opens at 8 a.m.

How to prepare for black friday shopping

Cindy Wilson of Centerville said she still plans to go out to stores on Friday.

“I won’t be spending as much time as I have in the past, but I still look forward to it. I probably just play it by ear. If I see a long line, I just won’t go in,” Wilson said.

Santa visits this year will be different. Parents are encouraged to make a reservation for their children. Santa will be wearing a mask and will listen to children’s wish lists, but they can’t sit on his lap for a traditional photo.

Historically people have shown up to shop for deeply discounted items in record setting numbers, but this year stores will control the number of customers inside.

“Due to COVID-19, the need to reimagine how we’re addressing holiday crowd sizes is something we’re taking seriously. To help, Walmart has developed a month-long Black Friday schedule of shopping events, specials and sales designed to give customers ample time and opportunity to get their shopping done safely,” said Charles Crowson, a Walmart spokesman.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has pushed many customers out of stores and online to do their everyday shopping and the same is true for the holiday. Walmart spread out its Black Friday Deals for Days over three events with the first one beginning Nov. 4. The final event will begin online on Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. Additional deals on electronics, clothes and home items will be offered in store at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

“I think that numbers could be lower this year not that there are less shoppers per say but some shoppers may choose to purchase only online. Stores will be practicing social distancing and putting markers on the floor and if they’re waiting for customers to leave and enter the store, there will be spots marked off out front so people can social distance,” Gough said.

Some stores, including WalMart, will change the flow of traffic inside the store to keep crowds organized. “Instead of multiple queue lines this year, after entering the store, customers will be directed to the right and down the main aisles to shop all the deals,” Crowson said.

Gough said shoppers can use alternate forms of shopping and delivery including curbside and contactless pick up for those that don’t want to enter the store. According to the CDC website, it is a suggested method of shopping this year to lower the risk of contracting or spreading the Coronavirus.

Those shopping at the Dayton area malls can also participate in curbside pick up through their Retail To-Go programs. A list of participating stores can be found on their website.

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What’s so Special about Black Friday

How to prepare for black friday shopping

What is the most eventful day after Thanksgiving? You’ve got it, Black Friday! Black Friday marks the kick-off to the Holiday shopping season. This year Black Friday is on the 28th of November. While you are getting ready to rush into the stores and make your Christmas purchases, did you ever wonder why this day is called Black Friday?

About Black Friday

Black Friday was first recorded in 1966 with advertisements that this day was referred to as Black Friday by the Philadelphia Police Department due to the chaos created by heavy traffic jams and crowds mobbing the downtown department stores. Black Friday was not a word associated with happy times (the word “Black” is indicative of something negative that happened in history). For example, Black Thursday was the day that marked the beginning of the Great Depression where many people lost their livelihoods with the crash of the Stock Market. However, this negative connotation soon changed into something positive. Black Friday is an extremely profitable day in the retail sector and for the economy of the country, thus “Black Friday” nowadays signifies exciting times. In 2013, sales on Black Friday rose 2.3% from the previous year to record sales of $12.3 billion. The entire Black Friday weekend estimated both online and store sales of $57.4 million.

Violence during Black Friday

Although it is a very profitable day for the retailers, Black Friday has not been without its problems. There have been many incidences that resulted in violence and mayhem. For example, in 2013 a Chicago shoplifter was shot while making his getaway. In 2012, two people fighting over a parking spot outside a store in Tallahassee Florida were shot. The most significant violence can take place in the electronics section, there is a report of one lady who pepper sprayed the crowd because she wanted to get a Wii for 60% discount. In 2008, a man was trampled to death when approximately 2000 people broke down the doors of a store in New York.

Although chaos goes hand in hand with Black Friday, it is a day to enjoy, get into the spirit of Christmas and spend money. It is a day that kicks off the festive season and a day where you can get just about anything for discounted prices if you are early enough!

Black Friday, the biggest shopping event of the year, will take place on November 27

How to prepare for black friday shopping

How to Prepare for Black Friday. Source: shutterstock.com

Many shoppers all around the world wait for this momentous day every year. As you might have guessed, this is about Black Friday. We’ve come up with some useful tips, which might help you to become a real Black Friday sensei (or you may like to call it guru).

1. Draw up a budget

First and foremost, you should determine how much money you can spend. Make up a list of things you wish to buy, such as gifts, utensils, items that you’ve been dreaming about for a long time (hence, you’ll probably buy them), etc. The next step is to estimate your overall expenditure and define the maximum spending limit.

2. Plan your shopping trip

Well, if you’ve made up your shopping list, it is definitely the time to make up a store priority list. This means you must choose which shops you will visit first. It might save you a lot of time and keep you from making unplanned impulse purchases.

How to prepare for black friday shopping

You must choose which shops you will visit first. Source: shutterstock.com

3. Be ready to waste some time in queues

You could get up very early in the morning with dreams of avoiding a long waiting time in queues, or you could wait a while and arrive at the shops a little later, neither option will save you from long queues. Check your favorite playlist (or make up a new one), buy a new book, or download a new game on your smartphone. That will definitely help you to pass away the time.

4. Stay away from impulse purchases, follow your budget, and use cash

Since customers can save big bucks on Black Friday, they often feel like buying a few extra things. That seems to be quite logical. You saved some money, why shouldn’t you buy a couple of items you’ve been dreaming of for a long time? Just make sure that any item on your new “impulse purchase” list is not a useless knick-knack, otherwise, you’ll simply destroy your Black Friday budget.

Follow your budget (see paragraph 1). Moreover, we recommend you to take cash and leave your bank card at home. It will make you more attentive to every purchase you make, and also instantly shows you how much money you’ve got left. After all, you can’t overspend if you have no funds left.

5. Use apps to save up more money

Now returning to the issue of long queues, you can spend some quality time with “Savings/BestDeals/BestPrice” apps while standing in line. You’ll have enough time to check and double-check prices for items of interest. With the help of such apps, customers can now watch and even match prices in real-time.

How to prepare for black friday shopping

Customers can now watch and even match prices in real-time. Source: shutterstock.com

6. Use discounted gift cards

One of the simplest ways to get a great deal is to purchase things with discounted gift cards. Nowadays there are a lot of similar deals, but we can recommend Raise.com. This gift card site is considered to be a reliable one.

7. Feel free to use social networks

Maybe you’ve got many followers on Instagram, perhaps you like Twitter or just adore Facebook, that’s your business. No matter which social media you prefer, you can use it to your advantage. You can start following your favorite stores, then you should always be aware of the latest coupon deals, sale previews, Black Friday advertisements, etc.

8. Be polite and don’t be shy to talk to people standing in the line

Be polite to sales consultants. Sometimes they can be so forward and obsessive, but they just want to earn some extra holiday cash, taking into account that they work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, while most people are shopping and having fun. You definitely can’t control the shoppers around you, but what you can do is show a good example of how well-mannered shoppers should behave.

How to prepare for black friday shopping

You can chat with people around you. Source: shutterstock.com

And besides, be nice to everyone. There is no point in spending time and grating nerves by arguing with someone in a queue.

There is a much better option. You can chat with people around you. Suppose you see something interesting in the cart of the person waiting next to you. If you haven’t argued with them, you can simply ask about the item and where they found it. Moreover, if you needed to dart out somewhere, you could ask someone to “hold your spot in the line”.

9. Shop with a friend

And it is not only about having fun. It can also be helpful. You can separate to speed up the process. You must admit that it’s very convenient when you can take your time to choose the perfect gift for your nephew in the toy section, while your friend checks out and matches the Smart TV prices in the electronics section.

10. Leave the kids at home

And last but not least, leave your kids at home if you want to have an enjoyable shopping trip. Explain to them that it doesn’t mean you don’t want to spend time with them. Remind your kids about endless queues and crowds of people. Remind them about their, “I’m bored,” or, “Why can’t we just go home?” and try to explain that it’ll not work out. You can leave kids with your spouse/parents/friends and enjoy your shopping trip.

How to prepare for black friday shopping

Black Friday is regarded as the most competitive shopping event of the year. As a result, it is a busy day to shop, owing to many Black Friday shopping deals that can make it challenging to get the best deals. Thus, it can be overwhelming for bargain hunters. Fortunately, you can benefit from honor Black Friday deals available online. These are different tips to help you get the right deals.

Check Out Apps and Advertisements

It is advisable to check the local newspapers as they can be filled with circulars, coupons, and ads. Ideally, ads are the primary source of Black Friday shopping savings. Therefore, you should not avoid ads or use ad blockers. You need to plan accordingly maximize savings as there are different stores that provide discounts, which are time-bound.

There are different apps that can help you find the top deals during Black Friday. In fact, some apps can show you the shortest routes to stores. Moreover, you will receive alerts when the stores that you visit have special deals and coupons. In addition, they provide a comparison of the latest prices on different products.

Research Beforehand

If you want to get the best deals, it is advisable to start researching as early as possible. Even if the product is too cheap, if it is a poor-quality product, do not purchase it. Therefore, there is a need to gather adequate information about items. In this way, you can avoid buying poor-quality products that cannot be of help you.

Compare Prices

Nowadays, you can use different shopping sites to compare prices. Also, you can use apps to determine product prices. Remember to include features and available options on any given product. Remember that some sellers can tempt you to purchase products at a lower price that do not come with the required accessories.

Find Early-Bird Discounts

Studies have shown that early-bird shoppers get the best deals during Black Friday Shopping. However, there are some stores that open only during this day. Such companies offer doorbuster prices. Ensure you create a checklist of various stores during the holiday hours. In this way, you can ensure you do not miss the deals. You can find malls that offer gift certificates that are based on the amount you want to spend. Also, gifts add up to considerable savings when you do shop regularly.

Decide Where to Shop

It is a good idea to find out when retailers and stores have the biggest sale. This will help you compare prices on various things you want to purchase. With this, you can determine things to buy first and where to get them. Ensure you prioritize different stores to ensure you do not miss great deals. Checking different stores in advance is advantageous as you can tell where to park your car.

During Black Friday shopping, you are likely to be bombarded with ads both online and locally. Such ads can be confusing and make your shopping a bit difficult. It is advisable to create a plan and carry out research. As a result, you can make your Black Friday shopping experience a success.

Posted On: 11/04/2019

How to prepare for black friday shoppingThanksgiving is late in the month this year, falling on Thursday, November 28. That means Black Friday is only three and one-half weeks before Christmas. To get the most out of the best shopping day of the year, you’re going to want to put your game plan together in advance.

Here are some tips to help prepare for Black Friday shopping and cross off all those names on your gift list in one day (and get home before all the Thanksgiving leftovers are gobbled up!).

  1. Research, Research, Research: Retailers want your business and work hard to promote their deals, so you’ll want to shop their stores. Visit websites and read round-up news stories about what’s hot this year.
  2. Look for Discounted Gift Cards: Check out Raise to buy gift cards for the stores you want to visit at discounted rates. It’s an easy way to save even more.
  3. Buy the Thanksgiving Day Newspaper: Even if you’ve done your online research, it’s useful to review the physical fliers to spot deals you may have missed on your devices. Look for coupons to clip and save.
  4. Devise a Timeline for Store Visits: Make sure to note doorbuster specials and when the deals are available. Put together a shopping plan with time limits for how much time to spend at each spot and when to visit specific stores to be eligible for the time-limited deals. Remember, many doorbusters only have a limited supply of items.
  5. Create a List and a Budget: The lure of deals can be strong. Make a vow to stick to the items on your shopping list and not to exceed the budget you set aside to purchase gifts.
  6. Avoid the Hassle of Driving and Parking: Getting through traffic and carrying bags to the car burns valuable time. Treat yourself by booking a private car service for your Black Friday outing. Shop with a friend or two and split the cost for luxury chauffeur service, then sit back and enjoy.

WSL is your choice for Chicago-land area limousine service. Our professional drivers would love to help you fill the trunk with your finds, then whisk you home and help you bring the bags to the door.

How to prepare for black friday shopping

Ashley is an expert in the financial management of medium-sized businesses as well as developments in payments and payroll worldwide.

Remember when Black Friday was just a day? Well, that’s all changed now.

Over the last few years Black Friday has extended its boundaries to include Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. This can be attributed to retailers wanting to capture sales opportunities however shoppers prefer to shop—in-store, online, or both.

Since shoppers won’t be piling into stores like years past due to coronavirus (COVID-19) social distancing measures, you’ll need to get creative with how to connect your shoppers with discounted merchandise.

In fact, businesses have been totally reliant on business technology solutions for nearly every challenge in 2020. And Black Friday is no different.

What core areas should your retail business focus on during the most profitable shopping season of the year? Here’s where you can leverage technology to increase productivity and make Black Friday both frictionless and profitable.

Black Friday shopper behavior for stock management

Though shopping in-store is pretty much off the table, you still need to stock up for elevated sales.

Look at your data from last year to gauge how much inventory you need to account for in-store sales that will now take place online.

Investing in that kind of insight is important for creating the capacity needed to manage high demand during peak shopping season.

You can ensure you have enough inventory for the influx in demand during Black Friday and into the Christmas shopping season.

Accepting payments for Black Friday sales

Generational preferences and how comfortable shoppers are with payment technology will also factor greatly into Black Friday.

Today’s customer journeys are increasingly varied, and can be immediate or extremely complex, especially for younger customers.

They can range from impulse purchases on shopping apps to lengthier, highly considered purchases involving multiple channels for product research and price comparison – even during Black Friday sales.

You’ll need to integrate the payment process into your omnichannel customer offering for a frictionless Black Friday experience.

To do so you should consider the customer’s expectations at each point in their journey. Then, ensure your payment technology can accommodate every sale regardless of channel or preferred payment method.

Retailers of any size will stand out by offering simplicity, convenience, and durable, well-defined value in their approach to payments.

One in-store example that has expanded among retailers is self-service technology like Zara implemented in 2018 to eliminate their infamously long lines.

We know from a research over the years that consumers generally can be up to four times more likely to complete a purchase if they see a wide variety of payment types presented to them at checkout.

Demand for mobile payments and digital wallets is growing, so it’s worth exploring these as part of your payment methods.

Managing payments security during increased traffic

You should also consider the security of your customers’ financial and personal data, and factor in protection against fraud.

One example of technology that supports this is tokenization. This allows safe storage of your unique card details providing access to the original payment information regardless of the contact point.

Shoppers have grown more willing to use new payment technology. But they’re still concerned about the safety of their personal information.

Research shows 62% are generally welcoming towards added authentication measures for online payment security as mandated by PSD2.

New authentication technologies will revalidate repeat purchases or return shoppers to the website and make their experience even more frictionless.

Hiring Black Friday staff

Even with everything else in place, you’ll still need to ensure you have enough staff coverage to deal with stock management and preparing items for delivery.

Insights from a business management solution can tell you how many additional staff you’ll need to hire. It can also help you with hiring and onboarding and managing schedules.

Adding more staff – temporary or full time – means more payroll admin of assigning employee types and calculating accurate pay and benefits for each.

Doing this accurately will be more challenging during the busy Black Friday season, especially if it’s done manually.

Payroll integration technology with time tracking and attendance functionality can make peak season staffing easier.

Connecting your time and sales data is important for reconciliation purposes, eliminating data errors, and reducing payroll fraud.

Keeping track of this data can also help with planning for other peak trading seasons.

A business management solution equipped with automation can make this easy and error-free for any size staff.

Final thoughts

Black Friday is a fast-paced selling season. If your customer doesn’t get the experience they expect, you might lose a future sales opportunity.

Use new technology for business management to stay on top of cash flow to purchase enough inventory, manage stock across multiple shops and online, manage staff coverage and scheduling, and keep things running smoothly at checkout.

Editor’s note: This article was first published in October 2019 and has been updated for relevance.

Black Friday is on its way, which means incredibly hectic stores and streets. Whether you shop for yourself or for others on Black Friday, this day can be uber-stressful if you don’t plan it out correctly. To help you obtain the smoothest possible experience, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite ways to prepare for Black Friday shopping. From pre-shopping tips to in-store survival tricks, we’ve got what you need to get through the day.

Make a Budget

One of the most important things you can do before you go Black Friday shopping is prepare your budget for the holiday season—and then follow through with it. You don’t want to overspend for the season before it has fully begun! Make sure your budget is reasonable, and give yourself a bit of wiggle room. Nail down items that you have to have, and make sure you leave room for incidentals.

Stay Organized

If you don’t want to add more stress to your plate, then you’ll want to stay as organized as possible. Make a to-do list of the things you have to buy, and clean out your wallet and purse. Make sure you keep receipts, cards, and cash organized to avoid any identity theft. The more organized you are, the less hectic you’ll feel.

Compare Ads

If you’re out to get the best deals possible, do your research and take a look at different store ads before you head to the mall. Compare the ads and see who will give you the best deals. The sooner you familiarize yourself with this year’s ads, the more prepared you’ll be when it comes time to shop.

Figure Out Your In-Store Game Plan

When it comes to actually getting in the store, you’re going to need a total game plan. Decide which stores you’ll visit and what order you’ll visit them in. If you have to drive to different locations, figure out where you’ll start and end your trip. If you need to go to multiple sections in a store, figure out which one you’ll go to first.

Only Get What You Came For

A lot of people leave with impulse purchases when they go Black Friday shopping. If you actually want to stick to your budget, then you have to limit your impulse buys. Sure, that cute pair of shoes is a great steal, but those great steals will eventually add up to more than you budgeted for. Put on your blinders in the checkout lane—you don’t need those fuzzy socks or another candle.

Be Prepared for Alternatives

Some things you planned on buying may already be out of stock, or the store may not have the size or color you want. Have some alternatives in mind for these cases, and try your best to be a flexible shopper. Maybe that TV you wanted is already sold out, but a similar model is still available at a reasonable price.

How to prepare for black friday shopping

We all love to buy from sales. The lower prices lure us to spend and we are happy to do so. Sometimes we get things that we actually do not need and get stuck with them but that’s not a big deal if it happens every once in a while.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is most certainly the biggest sale event in the US. All stores put up special discounts on just about everything and even add items they usually do not carry. If you buy smartly, you can grab some serious bargains on this once in a year event.

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Do Your Homework

The best way of going about Black Friday shopping is to have your homework done and you must be aware of what deals that are on offer. Go through the promotional pamphlets from all the stores and mark what interests you. This will give you an idea of what to buy, from where to buy it and what kind of budget you will need if you get everything.

Make a List

Once you have marked the products of interest, make a list of what you want to buy. Have a budget in mind and only add things on the basis of priority. If you are shopping alone, then make sure that you pick the store that has the most items of interest to shop at. Make sure that you avoid products that are offering great prices but are of no use to you.

Get There Early

Make sure that you arrive at the store early, rather much early. Time around midnight or a little after is likely going to get you the first spot or one of the earlier spots in the line. Many stores have recently started allotting numbers on the basis of your arrival in queue so coming early will help you in this regard as well.

Hunt in Packs

You will have items from various areas in the store that you want to buy. So it is best that you go to the store with friends or family and be ready to grab goods from all areas in the store at the same time. Designate separate lists to every person who will be buying in different areas. This will give you an extra advantage in getting all that you need and want. The same technique will help you in shopping at various stores at the same time.