The day after Halloween, mass merchants announce their holiday promotions. Target and Walmart both introduce a skip-the-line checkout feature in stores.

As the calendar flips to Nov. 1, online retailers are wasting no time touting their holiday promotions.

Online marketplace eBay Inc., for example, launched its “first-minute” deals today, which offers a discount and free shipping on various products each day Nov. 1-11.

Similarly, mass merchant Target Corp. also launched its Black Friday preview sale, which offers discounts on products now through the Friday after Thanksgiving. Target also gave shoppers a preview of its Black Friday ad online, so shoppers can plan their day-of purchases. Retail-chain competitor Walmart Inc. made a “Christmas Gifts” deals section live on its website, although it is not promoting them as “Black Friday” deals.

Both Target and Walmart announced a similar omnichannel feature that is new for this holiday season. Both mass merchants will allow in-store shoppers who are purchasing a few items to “skip the line” and check out with an employee in an aisle. Associates, who will be available in the busiest parts of the store, will swipe a shopper’s credit card with a handheld device and then customers can leave the store without waiting in a cashier line.

Another omnichannel feature Walmart announced is providing a store map for each store in the Walmart app. By early November, shoppers can search for a product in the Walmart app, and the map will show the item’s location in the store. On the e-commerce front, a few weeks ago Walmart announced it expanded free two-day shipping for orders of $35 and more to items sold by marketplace merchants.


Target also announced it will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22, until 1 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 23. Target will reopen at 7 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 24.

Target is No. 17 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500, Walmart is No. 3 and eBay is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Online Marketplaces.