Will You Text-Shop This Black Friday?

Black Friday is a U.S shopping tradition. This year retailers are promoting coupons and sharing deals via text. Will it affect traffic and trends, or is mobile shopping more efficient?

For years it has been a tradition in the U.S that the morning after Thanksgiving official Christmas shopping season begins. Consumers could expect wild early morning openings of stores and special gifts for shopping on what is known as “Black Friday.” Black Friday is one of the highest traffic days for visitors and shoppers which makes it the most valuable day to convert shoppers into buyers. Four Square check-in points, free shipping, you can even get a hamster for 50% off at Petsmart this weekend. Retailers are desperate to incentivize shoppers into buyers, offering deals for consumer’s attention is not new this year (there is even an official BlackFriday site) but we may not see as much traditional in-store buying as expected when there are several services making coupons and buying that much easier via mobile:

ReplyBuy: is a texting deal service that notifies you when there is a deal. You simply reply back with your pin and it automatically purchases the item on sale. Basically the entire process of purchasing boiled down to one text away.

ShopKick: rewards shoppers for interacting with stores. Check-ins and scans are rewarded with points and everything can be done via it’s mobile app.

Transaction Wireless: is working with retailers this year like American Eagle to let shoppers text gift certificates to friends by either going to Mobile Gifts section of AE’s website or Facebook page. Recipients get MMS gift cards that can then be redeemed at stores. Everything is done virtually, no plastic card or printed coupons.

Yowza: makes coupon finding easier though their mobile app. Some consumers think the selection is low while others love the ability to find coupons in geographic areas.

BlackFriday App: all deals and coupons for Black Friday in one place.

Whether you are getting a new household pet or sending a friend a gift certificate via text, this holiday shopping season we will see completely new trends of consumer shopping behavior. What will be most interesting is what old tactics (early opening hours? Free gifts?) that still work and if we long term even enjoy mobile as a shopping experience. Have we become so distracted that walking around with a hot cocoa looking at shiny objects can no longer keep our attention?