I got out of doing the “talking to crazy shoppers who line up outside stores at 3 a.m. on Black Friday” story this year. Been there, done that. And frankly, with stores opening as early as 10 p.m. – or even remaining open all day on Thanksgiving – it’s become commonplace. (Get Black Friday shopping tips here.) What I’ll be watching instead is how technology plays into shopping strategy. Will shoppers be tweeting their best finds? Will they look up Facebook coupons from stores or log into Foursquare for discounts or send angry messages to retailers that run out of advertised doorbusters? Will they make use of the myriad shopping apps coming out just in time for the Superbowl of shopping? Best Buy, for example, is hyping two mobile apps for the holidays:
Shopkick: This free smartphone app detects “shopkick Signal” technology at select Best Buy stores (Target and other retailers participate, too). The customer instantly receives rewards called “kickbucks,” which can be accrued over time, then redeemed in the store or converted into store gift certificates. Customers can also provide the mobile number connected to their account at the cash register for personalized discounts.
Tecca: Curates product information, pricing and expert reviews to help consumers understand new technology, compare products, functions and prices. Simply scan a barcode and the app recognizes the product. Available for iPhone and Android as well as Web browsers.
Just two examples of how retailers are trying to incorporate social technology into the shopping experience. Will you use it?