Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up soon, which means that instances of employees shopping at work are going to skyrocket. As a manager you’re going to be faced with quite the dilemma: Should you let your employees do their holiday shopping during work hours?
In this article I’ll dive into how holiday shopping is going to change during COVID-19 and show you the options you have to manage shopping-related distractions in your business this year.
Table of Contents
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- How Will COVID-19 Impact Holiday Shopping in 2020?
- Key Shopping Dates For 2020
- What to Do About Employees Shopping at Work
How Will COVID-19 Impact Holiday Shopping in 2020?
Before we go over your options for managing the productivity of your employees I’d like to go over how holiday shopping is going to look this year compared to previous years. After all, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing well past the holidays it’s clear that Black Friday shopping is going to be a little different in 2020.
There Will Be a Significant Increase in Online Shopping
The temptation to shop online during work hours is going to be even greater this year than previous years thanks to the dramatic increase in employees working from BTCC合约交易所home. After all, being away from the office limits the risk of being caught browsing Amazon when they would normally be expected to stay focused on their tasks.
Research by RAND compared online shopping habits from the time that COVID-19 was declared a pandemic (March/April 2020) to amid the pandemic (July/August 2020). They found that in the early stages there was a negligible difference in online spending habits, but as the pandemic worsened 40% of respondents had started spending more money online. This increase in online shopping is certain to continue well into Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Some Brick-and-Mortar Stores Are Still Offering In-Store Exclusives
Historically Black Friday was a shopping holiday that focused on physical stores and Cyber Monday was it’s digital counterpart. Nowadays there is little difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday aside from their official dates.
With this years’ holiday season occurring during a global pandemic you can be certain that the majority of Black Friday deals are going to be available both online and in-store, though some retailers are offering in-store exclusives for Black Friday.
It’s quite likely that your employees are going to want to go shopping for in-store Black Friday specials. As a business owner you should establish guidelines with your employees regarding extended lunches, schedule flexibility, personal days, vacation allowances, and the acceptable use of sick days.
Sales Timelines Will Extend & Multiple Savings Events Will Be Offered
Starting holiday deals in October has been a huge trend this year. For example, Walmart hosted a shopping event called “Big Save” from Oct. 11 to Oct. 15. They’ve also spread out three distinct savings events throughout November, with each event focused on different categories of products.
Retailers will continue spreading out their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals throughout all of November and December to reduce the amount of people congregating inside of their retail stores simultaneously. This strategy will also prove helpful for addressing supply chain delays caused by COVID-19.
With this in mind the holiday sales season has become less of a day/week and more of a multi-month endeavour. While this may reduce the urgency that employees feel you should still plan ahead to address any concerns you may have about shopping during work hours.
Major Retailers Will Keep Their Doors Shut This Thanksgiving
In previous years it has been quite common for retailers in the US to remain open on Thanksgiving in an effort to accommodate last-minute grocery and supply shopping. In fact, Thanksgiving has often served as a kick-off point for Black Friday sales.
This year is going to be different. Many retailers have decided to remain closed as a safety precaution and to provide their employees with the day off. You can find a list of stores that are going to be closed on Thanksgiving here.
Key Shopping Dates For 2020
Friday, November 27 – Black Friday 2020
Historically, Black Friday has been a significant shopping holiday where retailers compete for sales with steep discounts on big-ticket items. These days Black Friday is no longer a retail-exclusive holiday and it’s common to see stores offering Black Friday deals online. Some retailers have even gone so far as to combine Black Friday and Cyber Monday themes into extended sales.
Even in the midst of a pandemic Black Friday is showing no signs of slowing down in 2020. Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends in Retail Report predicts that Black Friday spending is going to skyrocket to a whopping $10.3 billion this holiday season. While this is a small year-over-year increase when compared to 2019’s $9.4 billion in the US it’s a significant figure given the current circumstances.
Saturday, November 28 – Small Business Saturday 2020
Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after US Thanksgiving, a day after Black Friday, and two days before Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday is a fairly new shopping holiday, being first observed in the United States on November 27, 2010.
In contrast to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to purchase products and services from businesses that are small and local. With COVID-19 continuing throughout the holiday season you can be certain that shoppers will be favoring small businesses with ecommerce offerings.
Fun Fact: The term “Small Business Saturday” is a registered trademark of American Express. It is tied into their Shop Small initiative, a nationwide movement that celebrates small businesses with the goal of helping local communities.
Monday, November 30 – Cyber Monday 2020
Cyber Monday falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States. Cyber Monday was coined in 2005 as a digital counterpart to the Black Friday retail holiday. These days there are minimal differences between Cyber Monday and Black Friday aside from their official dates, with retailers offering Black Friday deals both online and in-store.
Adobe predicts that Cyber Monday spending is going to surpass Black Friday spending this year, with Cyber Monday spending expected to total $12.7 billion this holiday season (vs their $10.3 billion prediction for Black Friday).