It’s a holiday tradition in the United States. Every year, the Friday after Thanksgiving, brave souls wake to their alarm clocks as early as 3:00 a.m., slip into something comfortable, brush their teeth and, still half asleep, drive to the retailer of choice to stand in line with other shoppers waiting for the doors to open in the wee hours of the morning. When they do, the race is on for that one product, often in very limited quantities, that the retailer has discounted deeply to get shoppers into the store.
We call this Black Friday, opening day for the holiday shopping season, when retailers count on sales to move them from, in accounting terms, the red to black, with the hope of posting a profit by year end. Black Friday is not for the faint of heart. It’s only for those who possess that rare shopping gene, which boosts shopping stamina and strategies to save big money.
On Black Friday, retailers open early, usually before dawn and sometimes even on Thanksgiving evening, as shoppers line up overnight to save hundreds on everything from apparel to electronics, particularly HDTVs, smartphones, tablets and computers.
In years past, this might have meant thumbing through the weekly circulars and braving the shopping mall stampedes. But these days, mobile apps are changing the game. Shopping apps, some specific to Black Friday, leveraging hardware features like cameras, GPS, NFC and 4G found in modern smartphones, you can find the best deals near you, create shopping lists while on the move, and plan for Black Friday shopping with ease.
According to an International Data Corp survey released last week, smartphone apps may influence up to $1.7 billion of holiday retail sales. The survey found shoppers are most likely to use apps to find big-ticket electronics, followed by apparel and footwear. It also found that quick online comparison shopping with smartphone apps will account for just over one percent of all consumer electronics purchases this holiday season, including smartphones.
Getting the best deals is all about preparation and knowing where to look. For Android users, here are seven shopping apps to get started, helping to find the best deals, not only online, but also local brick-and-mortar stores.
Amazon Mobile: Posting new, deeply discounted products on its Web site every day in the days leading up to Black Friday, the Amazon app helps you stay on top of it all, linking you right to Black Friday deals from the main page.
Black Friday App : DealNews.com’s Black Friday App compares prices with online deals, helps create a shopping list, and links you to retailers for direct online shopping. The app also syncs to your dealnews.com account automatically.
The Black Friday $$ Coupons: This app aggregates information on Black Friday deals, and off season sales, at clothing and accessory retailers such as Gap, Old Navy, Abercrombie and Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21, Bath & Body Works, Express, Wet Seal, Hollister, and more. The app also sends automatic pings when the user nears a retailer with relevant deals.
Black Friday Ads sends information on Black Friday deals in the form of coupons right to your device. Offering hand selected deals from major brands, the app sorts deals by brand, newest arrivals, the hottest deals, and by category (fashion, food, kids, etc). It also has a handy sharing feature so that friends and family can get great deals, too.
TGI Black Friday: Powered by TGIblackfriday.com, this app searches for products, notifies shoppers when new ads are posted and lets shoppers save their favorite deals for later. It also gives users a breakdown of how many deals are at a particular store so you can better plan shopping trips.
Zoomingo: Like the others, this app identifies Black Friday deals, online and in local stores, revealing deals on everything from fashion to electronics from more than 80 retailers, including Nordstrom and Target.
TGI Cyber Monday app: Complementing the TGI Black Friday app, this app tracks Cyber Monday deals (the Monday following Black Friday), historically the day online retailers get a boost in sales after the brick and mortar retail deals are picked clean. The app tracks deals from top online retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Target and more.
Do you have plans to hit the Black Friday sales? Any particular shopping strategies that work for you? Let us know in the comments below.
(portions of this story were previously published for myHTC)
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