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Cyber Monday deals: What's different in 2020?

Retailers think outside the box during pandemic
Retailers think outside the box during pandem... 01:56

The line between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is now blurrier than ever.

This year, thanks in large part to coronavirus safety concerns, shoppers say they're a lot less likely to visit brick-and-mortar stores than in years past. According to a Deloitte survey of U.S. shoppers, released Monday, only 41% say they'll be visiting a physical store on Black Friday 2020. That's down from 61% last year.

Interest in online shopping, meanwhile, has predictably ticked up.

As a result, Cyber Monday, formerly a one-day sales event aimed at professionals trapped at their desk at work, is now bigger than ever. It's morphed into Cyber Week — and beyond. Here's what to expect if you're planning to shop online this year.

Masked customers line up outside a Walmart
Shoppers line up outside a Walmart Superstore in Toronto on November 21, 2020. Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images

There's no reason to wait ... or rush

This year, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping season has started earlier than in previous years. Electronics retailer Best Buy kicked off its holiday deals on Monday, November 22, while Walmart began offering Black Friday deals online starting November 4 to reduce in-store crowds. Online giant Amazon started even sooner, recasting its delayed October 2020 Prime Day sale as a way for shoppers to "get a jump-start on their holiday shopping."

They're not alone. According to a Shopify market research report, 66% of Shopify Plus brands planned to start their promotions the week before Black Friday or earlier. That's up from 58% the year before.

So if you haven't started your holiday shopping yet this year, you're already late to the game. There's good news, though — that same Shopify survey shows that more retailers (32%) plan on extending their best holiday deals into the week following Cyber Monday or later, compared with last year.

Masked cashier ringing up a Sony PlayStation 5
A masked employee prepares the Sony PlayStation 5 gaming console for a customer. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Image

The hottest gifts might not be in-store

Black Friday veterans are no doubt familiar with the shopping holiday's signature "doorbuster" deals. But this year, with numerous states limiting the occupancy of malls and big-box stores, some retailers are giving shoppers new reasons to visit their websites.

Walmart, for example, isn't offering the hard-to-find Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles in their physical stores this Black Friday. Instead, you'll need to head to the web. The company has announced that they'll be available online only, and in limited batches.

And that's not all. You won't find deals on the Apple Watch 3 or Airpods Pro in its brick-and-mortar stores, either. Those Walmart sales are online-only, too.

And while other stores will be offering the same prices in-store as online, there are new incentives to shop from home. Home improvement retailer Lowe's announced in October that it will deliver fresh-cut trees and wreaths to your home for free this year, provided you spend at least $45 on the order.

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