As people start to think about the holiday season, others are turning their attention towards what experts predict will become the biggest shopping event of the year: Black Friday. Katherine Cullen is senior director of industry insights and consumer insights for Black Friday. National Retail Foundation, or NRF — it’s turned into Black November, a month of doorbuster sales and deals that often spills over into October.

“The shape of the holiday season has really started to change,”Cullen. “We used to see Thanksgiving weekend as the kickoff to the holiday season, but now it’s almost more of a halfway point. By late October or early November, consumers and retailers are in holiday mode.”

SKIP Ahead What is Black Friday? | Expert shopping tips | Black Friday 2021 performance

With that being said, you’re likely to start seeing Black Friday deals pop up in the next few weeks — TargetFor example, a recent announcement by, announced that it will host Deal Days on Oct. 6-8. Do you wait for the official Thanksgiving events or take advantage of the early deals? And what’s the best way to prepare for the sale event? We asked experts these questions and more to get their advice about when to shop Black Friday deals, what the event might look like this year and what products you’ll typically find the best deals on. We also highlighted information about how to save money while shopping and tips to keep in mind while you’re preparing for the event.

What is Black Friday 2022?

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving, which this year is Nov. 25th. The biggest takeaway from the 2021 holiday season? Brands and retailers will likely start selling in October or November. Experts advise that you make your shopping list as soon possible and to be ready to shop.

“Retailers save some of their best deals for Thanksgiving weekend, but when you see early deals on specific products during October or November events, you can assume they’re usually as good as they’re going to get,” Cullen said. Select retailers offered price-match policies last year to ensure holiday shoppers got the best possible price. Retailers will match the price of a product purchased during a Black Friday sale if it drops to a lower price later in season. You can also get products at even lower prices after Black Friday.

Deals are often announced early so products may run out of stock before Thanksgiving weekend. This emphasizes why it’s so important to make your shopping list now — if you have your eye on something and it goes on sale, you can grab it while there’s plenty of inventory.

What to Buy on Black Friday? And What Can Wait?

Nearly every retailer and service sector participates in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so products from all categories are discounted. However, not all deals are good.

Black Friday deals are usually on electronics, toys, and home items. Vipin Porwal is the founder and expert in consumer savings at browser cashback extension. Smarty. You’ll also see strong discounts on the technology, hardware and gear that those who work from home may be looking for to add to their office spaces, as well as items for metaverse participants like virtual reality headsets and gaming consoles. Black Friday is a popular day for shoppers to purchase gifts. This means that luxury products in fashion and beauty, as well as eco-friendly products, are often on sale. “coveted”Porwal spoke of gifts

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If you don’t need them immediately, Porwal suggested waiting to buy large appliances, mattresses and furniture until sale holidays like President’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day. He explained that many of the brands in those product categories offer more items during other sales events, which gives you more options for comparing.

2021 Adobe AnalyticsThe Oculus VR headset, Barbie products and the Nintendo Switch were the most-purchased. So be sure to keep an eye on these and related items such as toys and tech. We also compiled a list of the top-selling products according to Select readers for 2021. Apple AirPods, Ninja Foodi Pressure Cookers, the Oral B Pro 1000 Electric Toothbrush, and many other products.

How to find the best Black Friday deals and save money

Finding the best deals and saving money during Black Friday go hand in hand — if you shop the deepest discounts, you’ll spend less overall. Below are a handful of tips experts recommend keeping in mind while you’re preparing to shop Black Friday sales, whether that’s in October or the day after Thanksgiving.

  • Make a shopping list, and stick to it. This allows you to prioritize what products you’re looking for and can help you avoid impulse purchases, especially if you want to shop within a set budget.
  • You might want to shop brands that you are not familiar with. If you’re looking for a specific item from a specific brand, you probably won’t want to compromise. But if you’re not brand loyal, experts suggested finding a handful of models that meet your qualifications — regardless of the brand — and comparing their prices before adding one to your cart. If you don’t limit yourself to only one brand (or only brands you’re familiar with), you’ll have a wider assortment of deals to browse.
  • Compare different payment options. Some credit cards offer cash back and rewards points at specific retailers — for example, shopping at AmazonOr Walmart with their specific credit cards gets you a certain amount back every time you shop if you’re an Amazon Prime or Walmart+ member. Credit cards may even offer bonus promotions during the holiday shopping season, which Select’s money experts will keep you updated on as they’re announced. Additionally, if you’re looking for ways to finance a larger purchase, buy now, pay later appsIt may be of value.
  • Use price trackers and browser extensions. Some, like HoneyAnd CentlyYou can automatically apply coupon codes at checkout. Other tools include PriceBlink allow you to compare prices across multiple retailers,And others — including Amazon Assistant and Karma browser extension — monitor prices and alert you when they drop for products you’re interested in.
  • Research retailers’ price match guarantee policies. You can notify a retailer if you find a lower price at a competitor and they will match it. Before you participate in a price matching program, make sure to understand any exceptions. For example, some retailers only price match for certain competitors and others won’t price match competitors’ special Black Friday pricing.
  • Pay attention to return policies. Retailers’ standard return policies may not apply to purchases made during Black Friday and other big sale events. Make sure you’re aware of return policies before you buy an item, especially if it’s something you’ll need to try on like clothes or shoes.
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How will inflation affect Black Friday 2022

Although the supply chain and staffing problems retailers faced during the holiday season 2021 have been mostly resolved, inflation is still a problem. Recent reports show that inflation has increased 8.3% from last year, causing an increase in the price of everything, including groceries and household essentials as well as gas. Shoppers are spending more across the board, and they’re “looking for deals and savings just about everywhere they can,”Porwal stated.

Retailers recognize shoppers’ increased appetite for sales and deals this year, which may cause some to offer early deals, even if they haven’t in the past. Experts suggested that retailers who offered early deals in the past year might move their calendars a few weeks.

While people are concerned about inflation, Porwal does not predict that rising prices will prevent shoppers from participating in Black Friday or the holiday shopping season in general, especially if this year’s sales are as strong as in years past. Black Friday and the holiday shopping season as a whole is about spending on others — shoppers go into the sales looking for items to buy for their loved ones.

“People do still want to prioritize the holidays since gifting is a very emotional experience,” Cullen said. “People may be reconfiguring their budgets a little bit so they can continue commemorating these special events.”

What does Black Friday 2021’s performance tell us about 2022?

Experts said trends we saw during Black Friday 2021 can give us a lot of insight into what this year’s event may have in store. Below are some of our top trends and what they might mean for 2022.

1. Shoppers will likely spread their holiday purchases.

According to The Holiday Sales Report, holiday sales rose 14.1% to $886.7 billion in 2021. NRF, whose holiday totals include sales for Nov. 1-Dec. 31. Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday generated billions of dollars in sales, they didn’t experience the same kind of exponential growth as they did in 2020. According to the study, Black Friday’s online sales actually fell by 1.12% over the previous year. Adobe AnalyticsCyber Monday: Online revenue and the e-commerce industry droppedThe first time this has happened, the annual growth was 1.4%. However, the 2021 holiday shopping season set new records. This shows that shoppers are spreading out their spending and not focusing their purchases on the five-day period between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. This is due in part to the early Black Friday deals.

Cullen stated that shoppers are taking advantage early deals, which she expects will continue in 2022 (maybe more so because of inflation concerns). There are two reasons. First, shoppers like the convenience of having more options to choose from and the assurance that gifts will arrive on time. Second, “people are dropping a fair amount of money during the holiday season, and that’s a lot to take out of a single paycheck,” Cullen said. It takes shoppers weeks to start looking for gifts in October. This allows them to save money on their purchases and eat less of their budget, especially if inflation is making it more difficult to buy essentials such as groceries, gas, and household goods.

2. While online shopping continues to be the most popular, in-person shopping is making an appearance.

In 2021, the Thanksgiving weekend saw the largest increase in online shoppers than in-store shoppers. NRF said. Like in recent years, Black Friday also surpassed Cyber Monday in terms total online shoppers. Despite the clear preference for online shopping, people returned to in-person shopping during Thanksgiving weekend after staying home in 2020 — NRF said 104.9 million shoppers visited stores in 2021, up from 92.3 million in 2020.

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While there’s been a shift towards online shopping during Black Friday for the last few years largely in part to the pandemic, mask mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions have become largely obsolete, encouraging shoppers to return to stores. Black Friday is a particularly popular day for online shopping. “people think about being in a crowded shopping center and feeling the hustle bustle of the season,” Cullen said. “That does not mean they won’t shop online, but we might see some energy around these kinds of pre-pandemic interactions as people are craving that kind of normalcy.” When shopping for gifts, Cullen said people like to see and touch the item to make sure it’s perfect for their loved one, which may also cause some to shop in-stores.

In-person shopping was possible at many retailers in years past. However, this changed in 2020 and 2021. Some even announced they’ll close stores on Thanksgiving for good, like Target, for example. In 2022, experts said we’ll likely see retailers close their doors on Thanksgiving again to allow employees to spend time with their families on the holiday.

3. Shoppers are becoming more sophisticated ‘cross-channel consumers’

You can see the many options available by looking at Black Friday 2021’s shopping habits. When it comes to shopping online, people are still using their computers and tablets, but Black Friday shopping via smartphones hit a new record in 2021 — 42.4% of Black Friday ecommerce revenue, or about $3.7 billion, came through smartphones last year, Adobe Analytics found. People prefer to shop online, rather than in stores. This allows them to avoid long checkout lines and avoid crowds while getting their products that day. Adobe Analytics reported that curbside pickup was 70% more popular than in pre-pandemic holiday seasons.

Black Friday sales will now be available through multiple channels so shoppers can choose how and where they want to shop. “Shoppers are going to buy online, through apps, in stores and explore their options,” Cullen said. “We believe we are seeing this move to a cross-channel consumer who doesn’t want to be forced into one way of shopping.”

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