[telecom] The Shrewd Shopper Carries a Smartphone

The Shrewd Shopper Carries a Smartphone


November 22, 2012

This Black Friday, to the tech-aware go the spoils.

Retailers are trying to lure shoppers away from the Internet, where they have increasingly been shopping to avoid Black Friday madness, and back to the stores. The bait is technological tools that will make shopping on the busiest day of the year a little more sane - and give shoppers an edge over their competition.

Those with smartphones in hand will get better planning tools, prices and parking spots. Walmart has a map that shows shoppers exactly where the top Black Friday specials can be found. A Mall of America Twitter feed gives advice on traffic and gifts, and the Macy's app sends special deals for every five minutes a shopper stays in a store.

"The crazy mad rush to camp out and the crazy mad rush to hit the doorbusters have really made people think, 'I'm just going to stay home on Black Friday,' " said Carey Rossi, editor in chief of ConsumerSearch.com, a review site. "This is going to invite some people back and say, 'You know what? It doesn't have to be that crazy.' "

Part of the retailers' strategy is to slap back at online stores like Amazon.com, which last year used apps to pick off shoppers as they browsed in physical stores. But the stores are also recognizing that shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving need not require an overnight wait in line, a helmet and elbow pads. A smartphone gives shoppers enough of an edge.


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Monty Solomon
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