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CNN

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Nov 27, 2020
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It's no secret that this Black Friday looks different from the ones that have come before it.

The pandemic has cast a pall over retail's big day, leading shoppers to swap crowds for internet sales. Nearly 51% of shoppers feel anxious about shopping in-store during the holidays, and 64% of their budget is expected to be spent online, according to a survey from Deloitte published last month.
But experts say these changes aren't a one-off, and could usher in a more permanent transition. Here are some of the ways 2020 could serve as an inflection point.
Black Friday starts in October: Black Friday deals that are usually reserved for in-store shopping have appeared online for a month. After this year, a longer promotional period could become the norm. Who says buying gifts should start after Thanksgiving?
More pickup options: Curbside pickup has seen a boom in popularity this year, and stores are taking note. Per Deloitte's survey, 27% of respondents said they were likely to utilize curbside pickup this holiday shopping season, up from 11% last year.
Free shipping is expected: Even before the pandemic, more people were starting to see free shipping as standard. This trend is only due to grow as comfort with online shopping builds and the Amazon Prime effect sets in.

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