The holiday season is nearly here and with the frosty weather and family gatherings also comes the most commercialized day of the year: Black Friday. As you might expect, retailers are begging to recognize the value in engaging consumers directly through mobile apps. We’ve put together a short list of some of the most interesting and useful iPhone and Android apps to help guide you through the holiday madness.
TGI Black Friday: There are a lot of apps that more or less do the same thing: track sales, compare prices and creating shipping lists. TGI Black Friday does all that and more:
Fastmall: While not specifically a Black Friday app, Fastmall will certainly come in handy if you’re planning on visiting your local shopping mall this Friday or at any point during the holiday season. The app will help you find parking, specific stores and even the food court with turn-by-turn directions. My favorite feature: iPhone users can give their phone a shake and the app will direct them towards the nearest restroom. How did we live without this stuff before?
Shopkick: Again, this app isn’t technically a Black Friday app but it does have an interesting premise. Shopkick informs users of new sales, promotions, etc. just like many of the other shopping apps out there. What makes it different is the “kicks” currency program. Users can earn “kicks” at partner stores like Best Buy, Target, and Macy’s by scanning barcodes of feature products, purchasing products or even simply walking into the stores. “Kicks” can be redeemed for rewards such as iTunes gift cards, restaurant vouchers, gift cards, Facebook credits and more.
Price Check by Amazon: Use this bar code scanning app to make sure the advertised bargain is actually a bargain by comparing it to prices online. Shadier retailers have been known to display items as “on sale” when they’re actually going for the original retail value.
Don’t feel like battling the crowds in the first place? Amazon has opened up a Black Friday store with a series of lightening deals leading up to the big day. On Black Friday, Amazon intends to release a bevy of deals matching or beating what they’ve found in leaked circulars from brick and mortar competitors.
Walgreens is taking control of their mobile destiny this holiday season by offering exclusive mobile coupons through their own app.
“For mobile phone users, Walgreens is adding scannable coupons to its mobile applications, offering exclusive discounts to its smartphone customers beginning Black Friday. Coupons will range in value from 50 cents to $5 and will be good toward a variety of products including beauty items, gifts, consumables and everyday essentials, such as diapers. Scannable coupons provide optimal convenience with no clipping or printing required. Cashiers simply scan a coupon straight from a user’s smartphone.”
It’s nice to see a large retailer establishing themselves in the Black Friday mobile realm instead of letting some of the other apps listed here do all the work. I expect this to be the trend moving forward as retailers look for ways to differentiate and provide exclusive content to their customers.
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