Holiday shopping is easier than ever, and smart, bargain-hunting shoppers will use all the online, social media and mobile device options at their disposal to find the best deals and maximize their savings on Black Friday and beyond.
And according to the experts, there'll be plenty of bargains as retailers scramble for consumer dollars in an increasingly competitive market."This year, mobile shopping holiday revenue will run between $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion, an increase of about 100% over last year's figure," said Jill Dvorak in a telephone interview. Dvorak is Senior Consultant, Mobile Commerce, for FitForCommerce, a best practices eCommerce consultancy. "That's about 4% of total anticipated holiday revenue."
For shoppers who intend to use social media, mobile devices and the Web to do their buying, here's 10 tips on how get the most out of your efforts and kiss the Black Friday blues goodbye:
1. Look for Exclusive Deals
Check out Facebook, smart phones and other mobile devices for exclusive offers to consumers using these options. Retailers will be offering many bargains exclusively to this segment of their market. Join a company's Facebook group, and get deals for members only.
2. Start to Collect Coupons
Begin right now, even before Black Friday, to accumulate discount coupons, special offers and other promotional materials in an email folder. To get a head start in racking up sales, retailers have already begun to advertise and promote special offers. An email folder, sorted alphabetically either by retailer or product category, will help you buy efficiently and quickly.
3. Combine Coupons
Be on the alert for coupons that can be combined with other coupons to ramp up savings. Although you may shop using electronic and wireless methods exclusively, don't neglect traditional media – you'll also find lots of coupons in print.
4. Check Retailers' Rewards Programs
Retailers' Rewards Clubs offer open membership and exclusive deals to bargain-hunting consumers who pay a fee to join. Members reap the benefits in discount prices. Check the Internet for the many rewards clubs available. Go to Google, Yahoo, or your favorite search engine and enter: Consumer Rewards Clubs in the search box.
5. Look for Special Deals for Mobile Shoppers
Mobile shopping will account for a bigger share of holiday sales this year as retailers aggressively court this market. So, be on the lookout for exclusive and particularly attractive deals for consumers who do their shopping this way.
6. Prices Drop After the Holidays
Good things come to those who wait. Online retailers are expected to cut prices significantly the day after Christmas and in the following weeks. If you delay shopping for gifts until Dec. 26, you may enjoy major savings. Prices on seasonal items, such as winter coats, sweaters and boots are traditionally slashed after Jan. 1.
7. Go Online to Compare Prices
Use your mobile device to compare prices at different stores. Among the sites that offer this option are Amazon.com and eBay.com. There are many others.
8. Credit Cards Might Have Deals
Many credit card companies offer special holiday deals, including bonus points, rewards gifts and discounts at certain national chains. Watch your mail, your email, and check your credit card websites for these offers.
9. Be on the Lookout for Freebies
There's lots of freebies being offered. Watch for them. Free gifts, bonus rewards and discounts are being offered by many retailers on certain items and for orders totaling $50, $100 or more. Do the math. If a free gift or discount comes with a $50 order and you're going to spend $200, see if you can make four separate purchases and get more for free.
10. Watch for After-Sale Offers Rewarding Customer Loyalty
To keep old and new customers, many retailers will offer them exclusive special deals throughout the year. Remember, it's never too early to begin your holiday shopping.
Black Friday: 10 Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping