As families sit down to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinners across the country, shoppers everywhere will begin preparing for one of the biggest shopping days of the year — Black Friday. Traditionally, Black Friday has been one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and it marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Similarly, just a few days after Black Friday, millions of Americans will turn to their computers and smartphones to shop for some of the season’s best online deals on Cyber Monday.
One thing is clear, Cyber Monday is not a passing fad. With more than $1.735 billion in e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday in 2013 (an 18 percent increase over 2012), it is clear Cyber Monday is here to stay.
Navigating the sales on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be overwhelming. Luckily, we have found a few online resources and apps to help guide you in planning your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping lists.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Companion Sites and Apps
- One of the first tools to download should be the Black Friday app (available for free on iTunes and Google Play) and its companion site BlackFriday.com. With the Black Friday app, shoppers can view ads from different retailers, compare prices, plan their shopping trips, and receive alerts for any new Black Friday deals or offers.
- Perhaps you have a few specific stores or products in mind for your Black Friday shopping trip, or you would like to share your Black Friday finds with friends on social media. If that’s the case, take a look at TGI Black Friday. TGI Black Friday posts Black Friday sales from more than 50 retailers in advance of Thanksgiving. Users can sort the sales flyers by store or by product. Shoppers can access TGI Black Friday via desktop or mobile device, as the site has a free app available for both iPhone and Android users. The same team that produces this site can help shoppers be just as prepared for Cyber Monday thanks to the TGI Black Friday companion app, TGI Cyber Monday.
- Cyber Monday shoppers should also check out the official Cyber Monday website, CyberMonday.com. The site highlights thousands of offers and deals from over 800 retailers throughout the holiday season. Shoppers can enjoy special offers, such as free shipping, at hundreds of merchants during the holidays and throughout the year. As hourly specials and exclusives from online retailers are made available throughout the day on Cyber Monday, the site will share sneak peeks of the hourly deals via email alerts.
- Build a smarter shopping list with Google Keep. Google Keep handles your multiple shopping lists in a single place. Use it to build lists for each store you plan to visit.
- Don’t forget to follow along with your favorite stores on social media. Many stores will share their latest deals and promotions in real time on Twitter and Facebook. Also, new this year, Amazon will share deals on its Instagram feed.
Additional apps to help you save money on Black Friday and beyond include:
- RedLaser by eBay — This app is a barcode scanner, a shopping assistant and a QR code reader all in one! It can index coupons and compare prices with other retailers, and it features a “digital wallet” that enables users to scan and store loyalty cards.
- Shopkick — Even if you can’t find the great deals you were searching for at retailers, you can still earn points for stepping into the store. Redeem your points for rewards, such as lattes and gift cards, at partnered stores.
- ShopSavvy — Similar to RedLaser, ShopSavvy lets you comparison shop to find the best prices for the items on your shopping list. In addition, ShopSavvy provides the ability for shoppers to make purchases directly within the app.
Whether you join the crowds in stores on Black Friday or surf this year’s best deals on the most sought-after gifts from the comfort of your couch on Cyber Monday, use these websites and apps to make your holiday shopping stress-free.