After you zero in on what you want, decide how you’ll get it. This year, there’s more than one way to shop on Black Friday: online, at the store or a hybrid of both.

Another one of the many retail effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increase in online shopping, as opposed to in-store purchases, as people avoid packed indoor spaces.

“There will hopefully be no crowds, no stampedes, and no long lines,” said Vicki Morwitz, the Bruce Greenwald Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, in an email.

Retailers are making it easy to avoid the traditional physical store experience. You can shop online for home delivery or curbside pickup. If you do choose to go to a store, Target will even let you save a spot in line.

Morwitz says stores will probably look different this year as they carry fewer product categories to free up space. The products that occupy the space are changing, too. For example, as business attire gives way to athleisure, retailers may shift space allocations to reflect the current demand.

Perhaps most importantly, make it your goal to pay the least amount possible for your Black Friday purchases.

Discounts will likely be deep this year because, as Morwitz points out, retailers are counting on a successful holiday selling season, especially after many stores have suffered financially during the COVID-19 crisis. But that doesn’t mean you should pay the first price you see. Compare prices across stores.

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