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Black Friday goes mobile

posted 23 Nov 2011, 15:17 by Mpelembe   [ updated 23 Nov 2011, 15:18 ]

Holiday shopping is going mobile, with retailers aggressively courting shoppers using exclusive mobile deals for smartphones and tablets this Black Friday.

USA-HOLIDAY MOBILE SHOPPING - Online retailer Gilt Group is geared up for Black Friday. No longer content to sit back, waiting for Cyber Monday while its customers hit the stores Friday, Gilt is taking the deals to their customers - offering mobile-only deals- targeting them when they are in competitors stores.

Gilt President Andrew Page:


"We will have blockbuster door openers starting at 6am, mobile only sales between 65 and 85 percent off so while people are waiting in line, if they choose to do so, or fighting the crowds, we will be with them every step of the way."

Gilt says more than 20 percent of its revenue will be from mobile sales this holiday season.

Other companies like Toys R US and Best Buy are working mobile into their plans. At Best Buy, if consumers find a lower price for a product using a mobile device- employees are empowered to match that price on the spot, a key strategy to lock in price conscious tech-savvy consumers.

According to a recent survey by Internet Retailer, sales through mobile devices will reach above $5.3 billion this year- that's double from 2010.

Megan Donadio, retail strategist, Kurt Salmon:


"I think we are going to see a lot of consumers out there on their phones while they are shopping on Black Friday with all the apps and how much retailers are catering to the needs of the consumers."

And that's just what Gilt is aiming to do:


"We know what you like. We know where you shop. We know what you've purchased before. We know where you have browsed and so we can actually tailor the sales to you. That's technology, that's personalization. "

And the amount of mobile customers that companies like Gilt can target is significant. According to the National Retail Federation, 40 percent of Americans own smart phones, and more than half of those plan to use their devices to research or make a purchase this holiday season.

Bobbi Rebell, Reuters