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The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Shopping in 2021

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has become widely known as the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s a day when retailers offer massive discounts and bundle deals on a wide variety of items, from electronic devices to household appliances, clothing, toys, and furniture.

While the name “Black Friday” may conjure up images of long lines and crowded stores, the event has evolved over the years, and now consumers can find Black Friday deals online as well. In this article, we’ll discuss tips for Black Friday shopping, as well as considerations for shopping during a pandemic.

Browsing Before Buying

Before making any purchases on Black Friday, it’s essential to browse and come up with a shopping list. Researching prices of items online can help in determining what constitutes a great deal.

Additionally, it helps to know what competitors are offering. Scanning websites and retailers for gift ideas can also give insights and inspiration for shoppers.

Browsing before buying also comes in handy when keeping track of purchased items with receipts.

Shopping Online

2020 and 2021 have seen a massive shift in Black Friday shopping as consumers favor online shopping due to the pandemic. Retailers offer the best deals online on these days; it’s a smart move to start surfing the web early in the morning.

Shopping online is also ideal for those who would like to avoid long queues and crowds, save time, and gain access to more deals. Shopping online means shoppers would have a vast selection, start comparing products, and make a decision without being rushed.

Signing up for

Membership Programs

Membership programs come with perks such as rewards, early access to deals and discounts, and even free shipping, for example, Amazon Prime and Walmart+. Sneak peeks and coveted items are sometimes exclusive to members with special deals before everyone else.

Take advantage of such programs not just for Black Friday but year-round to enjoy the rewards.

Shopping Early and Local

Shopping early helps avoid the worry of shipping delays, out-of-stock items, and the rush experienced on Black Friday. Additionally, shopping at local stores can increase revenues for small businesses and shopping convenience.

Keep an eye on prices in the days leading up to Black Friday as some stores may change prices days before, giving buyers a chance for a price adjustment. Some retailers also offer different sales times, like Target offering sales for the whole month of November leading up to Black Friday.

Signing up for Cash Back Credit Cards

Black Friday savings can be stretched even further by using cashback credit cards. Cashback cards offer cashback bonuses or statement credits for spending money.

Chase Freedom is an impressive example of a cashback card that can earn up to 5% cashback on purchases. Make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully and note the spending limits and other requirements.

Signing up for Emails and Text Messages

Email alerts and text messages can be helpful, especially when promotions or deals are exclusive hour-long deals. Signing up for email alerts ensures that you are the first to know when new deals are released.

Text messages can also offer welcome discounts, exclusive offers, early access, and promo codes.

Browsing in Private or Incognito Mode

Browsing in private mode or incognito mode helps avoid cookies by hiding a user’s browsing habits and personal information, which can lead to targeted ads and monitoring. Shopping behavior can be monitored and utilized to change prices based on user preferences.

Browsing in private mode ensures pricing for everything being looked at is at the lowest possible prices.

Using Price Comparison Tools

Different retailers offer various deals on Black Friday; using price comparison tools such as Honey or Capital One Shopping can help with finding competitive prices. Price comparison tools search for and apply different discounts and coupons to get the best deal.

Some of these tools, including Honey and Capital One Shopping, offer coupon codes that automatically apply discounts when using a specific code.

Setting Price Alerts

Setting deal alerts helps keep track of fluctuating item prices. It also helps consumers keep tabs on specific items they’re interested in purchasing to see when the prices drop.

Setting alerts can ensure buyers get the best deals when they become available.

Using Cash-Back and Rebates Apps

Cashback and rebates apps like Rakuten and Dosh offer rewards or cashback for making purchases through partnered retailers. Rakuten and Dosh offer different cashback amounts between retailers or different products.

Using these apps is as simple as downloading them and using them in-store or online when making purchases.

Being On the Lookout for Good Bundles

Bundles often offer several gifts in one package, making for an excellent way to maximize savings on Black Friday. Look out for sales where items like salt lamps and heated blankets are bundled for a lower cost than buying them separately.

Knowing the Store Policies

Finally, it is essential to familiarize yourself with stores’ policies and procedures, such as return policies, price matching policies, and any possible changes due to the pandemic. Understanding such policies can grant shoppers peace of mind when buying.

Black Friday Shopping During a Pandemic

Shopping during a pandemic can be concerning, but retailers have put measures in place to ensure shoppers can purchase items safely while taking advantage of discounts and deals. These measures include safety protocols like mandating mask-wearing, social distancing, and the availability of hand sanitizers in stores.

Shift to Online Shopping

Online shopping has been dominant during the pandemic as shoppers look to avoid large crowds. Wired magazine reported that online shopping revenue increased by roughly 43% in 2020, according to Adobe Analytics.

While crowds may be less of a worry this year, the practice of shopping online remains convenient, hassle-free, and is a great option for anyone who cannot get to a physical store.

Safety Measures

Safety measures are put in place by retailers to prevent the spread of the disease and protect customers and employees. This includes wearing masks, social distancing markers and protocols, and frequently sanitizing surfaces during and after business hours.

Retailers now prioritize customers’ safety and implement strategies such as limiting the number of customers in stores or providing hands-free shopping options.

Virtual Shopping Events

Virtual shopping events have gained popularity for shoppers’ convenience and safety. Retailers offer virtual events leading up to Black Friday where customers can ask questions or participate in demos, Q&A sessions, or even score discounts while doing so.

Curbside Pickup and Delivery

With the coronavirus still a concern, retailers provide curbside pickup or home delivery for customers’ convenience. These options are available in the majority of cases, meaning customers have the convenience of ordering online or by phone and then having their purchases delivered to the vehicle or doorstep upon arrival.


In conclusion, Black Friday shopping can be a hectic yet exciting experience with the right approach. By following the tips discussed, shoppers can maximize savings and minimize stress.

Due to the pandemic, shopping may be done online, which brings its own set of benefits including access to a vast selection and convenient shopping. Shopping local is also essential as it helps support small businesses.

With safety measures such as mask mandates, social distancing measures, and hand sanitizing practices, shopping during the pandemic can be done with confidence. Shoppers can also utilize various virtual events, curbside pickup, and delivery options.

Understanding store policies such as return policies and price matching policies before shopping is crucial. Happy Black Friday shopping!

Marketing Strategies for Black Friday

Black Friday remains a crucial time of the year for retailers, with a record $9 billion in online sales in 2020. Retailers attempt to outdo each other by developing attractive marketing campaigns and promotions that persuade customers to shop with them.

Here are five marketing strategies that retailers must consider.

Rolling out Deals Early

Retailers are getting a head start on Black Friday by offering deals earlier in November. Many consumers are starting their holiday shopping early to avoid crowds, positioning early deals as a crucial factor in driving sales ahead of Black Friday.

Offering early deals may also position a retailer above its competitors and convert customers who are shopping early into loyal customers who do not need to go elsewhere for deals.

Membership Programs

Retailers are using the power of membership programs to their advantage by offering rewards, exclusive discounts, and early access to sales. Amazon Prime and Walmart+ are two membership programs that offer exclusive discounts and free shipping all year round.

Customers are loyal to membership programs, and this can increase brand awareness and loyalty. Retailers can use these memberships as a method for retaining customers and encouraging customer acquisition.

Exclusive Online and In-Store Offers

Exclusive deals are one way for retailers to differentiate themselves from their competitors by presenting limited-time exclusivity online or in-store. Making exclusive deals and discounts available for a limited amount of time can drive sales and encourage customers to take advantage of the discounts and offers.

Doorbusters are an excellent example of limited-time exclusivity, drawing in shoppers who are looking for the best deals.

Social Media Promotions

Social media platforms present an opportunity for businesses to interact with their customers on a personal level. Social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are frequently used by retailers to create awareness about their products and services and engage customers.

Hashtags have become an essential tool for gaining visibility in social media markets. Additionally, influencer marketing has become a valuable way of attracting customers and strengthening brand awareness.

Retailers are partnering with influencers who have a large social media following to promote deals and giveaways.

Gift Card Promotions

Gift card promotions are unique marketing strategies designed to increase sales during the holiday season. Retailers use promotions such as ‘buy one, get one free’ or offering discounts on gift cards purchased over a certain amount.

Customers love gift cards as they are flexible and easy to give as a gift. Promotions regarding gift cards can drive sales during the holiday season and give retailers an opportunity to upsell other products to customers.

Charity Partnerships

Creating partnerships with charities is a unique way for retailers to give back to the community while promoting their business. Retailers often donate a percentage of their sales to nonprofits or donate a portion of their profits to charities.

Customers, especially Millennials and Gen-Z, are drawn to cause marketing and may prefer shopping with companies that are socially responsible. Retailers can use charity partnerships as a marketing strategy and a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Black Friday Do’s and Don’ts


Browsing Early

One of the most significant advantages of online shopping is that shoppers have the convenience of doing it from anywhere. This convenience allows shoppers to take their time browsing for the best deals and shopping for holiday gifts without being in a rush.

Comparing Prices

With several retailers offering similar products, it’s essential to compare prices before making a purchase. Comparison shopping saves money and provides customers the satisfaction of getting a great deal.

Looking for Bundles

Bundles are becoming increasingly popular with retailers offering multiple items packaged into one deal. Shopping for bundles can save money and provide the added benefit of additional goods that may effectively serve as gifts.

Signing up for

Membership Programs

Membership programs are designed to retain customers by providing multiple promotions and exclusive deals. Signing up for membership programs can provide regular newsletters with exclusive deals and discounts.

Checking Store Policies

It is essential to be familiar with store policies such as return policies and price matching policies. Understanding the policies can help shoppers make informed buying decisions and avoid confusion when trying to return goods or pricing disputes.


Waiting Until Friday

One of the biggest mistakes that shoppers make during Black Friday is waiting until Friday to start shopping. Black Friday deals are released days or even weeks ahead, and waiting too long can lead to missed deals and out-of-stock items.

Missing Out on Deals

With so many deals, promotions, and sales, it’s essential to keep track of the best deals that can save shoppers the most money. Many deals and promotions run on a time-limited basis, so keeping a watchful eye is essential.


Retailers intensively market sales and promotions during Black Friday, but this doesn’t necessarily mean all items are good deals. Shoppers can quickly overspend when purchasing too many items they don’t need.

Ignoring Store Policies

Knowing a store’s policies is essential, as it provides clarity on whether or not a return is possible or if an item is eligible for an exchange or refund.

Forgetting to Use Cashback Apps

Cash-back apps such as Rakuten and Dosh offer customers cashback for every purchase made during Black Friday. Failing to take advantage of these apps can mean leaving money on the table and missing out on additional savings.

In conclusion, Black Friday is a significant day on the calendar for retailers, who heavily rely on this day for sales. Retailers must focus on early deals, membership programs, exclusive deals, social media promotions, gift card promotions, and charity partnerships.

Customers can make informed purchasing decisions by browsing early, comparing prices, looking for bundles, signing up for membership programs, and checking store policies. Black Friday is a shopping event that rewards shoppers who shop mindfully and with a clear plan in place to take advantage of the best deals possible.

In summary, Black Friday is a highly anticipated shopping day that presents significant opportunities for retailers to drive sales and for shoppers to take advantage of the best deals possible. Marketing strategies such as rolling out early deals, membership programs, exclusive deals, social media promotions, gift card promotions, and charity partnerships play crucial roles in driving sales.

In contrast, Black Friday do’s and don’ts, including browsing early, comparing prices, looking for bundles, signing up for membership programs, and checking store policies, help shoppers make informed purchasing decisions. The takeaway from this article is that Black Friday requires a well-planned approach from both retailers and shoppers to maximize benefits.

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