By: Lester Bowers
According to the 2013 Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey, 41 percent of shoppers will be hitting up their favorite stores from 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to 5 a.m. on Black Friday. Beyond the devotion of these enthusiastic respondents, general participation in Black Friday this year is projected to reach a five-year high, notes Accenture. In other words, if you plan to slip out of your turkey stupor long enough to get that sweet flat-screen TV deal, expect to have a lot of fierce competition. Technology will be your ultimate tool for making this consumer holiday as painless as possible.
If you get to the store and find that your flat-screen TV is sold out or selling for a higher price than you expected, you can whip out your T-mobile phone and check out the competition in seconds. Or better yet, enjoy mobile shopping from the comfort of your own home on Black Friday. In 2012, nearly six in ten shoppers used smartphones to look for Black Friday deals, according to IBM.
Ethan Cohen, CEO of Easy2 Technologies, said that mobile and tablet shopping reached a critical mass last year. According to his company's research, traffic from smartphones and tablets jumped an astounding 155 percent on Black Friday in 2012. Since this past August, mobile shopping activity has grown by 49 percent. Don't settle for a lesser deal on Black Friday. Do what your fellow shoppers are doing and use your phone to fact check and order online.
Read related content:
Apps to Download
For those who prefer the convenience of a more tech-savvy approach to mobile shopping, there are tons of apps available for streamlining the comparing and shopping process.
Black Friday App (Free, iOS, Android):The Black Friday app by BlackFriday.com hooks users up with the latest Black Friday ads, personal wish list capabilities and connections with even more deals and sweepstakes.
TGI Black Friday (Free, iOS, Android):The Washington Post called this app a "number one shopping essential." Search for items to compare prices and create your shopping list right from the app. TGI Black Friday boasts early release of ads, while also making it easy to share your list with social media for some gift ideas.
Black Friday by dealnews.com (Free, iOS, Android):One of the most organization-friendly apps on the market, Black Friday by dealnews.com sorts deals by the item's category, store category, and price. You can even allow bargain alerts to prompt you right away when a certain item goes on sale.
Businesses know that competition is at its peak during Black Friday, so they're offering plenty of incentives to get customers to stay loyal to their brand. For example, Walmart has recently updated its own app to accommodate hardcore Black Friday shoppers. The app allows users to scan barcodes to determine the accurate price while shopping and find the products they want at a local store with GPS technology.
Make sure to download apps for the big retail stores, such as Target, Sears, JCPenney, and Best Buy to quickly compare major competitors. Amazon is another must-download, brand-specific app to cover a wide range of deals and access less common gift ideas.
About the Author: Lester is an app developer who is always the first in line for the latest smartphone release.