High-Tech Holidays

Technology is benefiting shoppers like never before. Here’s how. PLUS: Some advancements we might expect next holiday season.

This holiday season, more than ever before, shoppers are going to stores armed with their … cell phones. Why? That’s where the deals are.

Retailers have made a big step into the social media arena. In order to get the best deals, shoppers need to follow their favorite malls, shopping centers and stores on Facebook and Twitter. And, in the last days right before Christmas, “e-tailers” are making their e-mails sales ads, so only those shoppers who are signed up for the e-mails get special online sales announcements—which may be available for just one or two hours.

While shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, shoppers have found that, with the help of apps, they can get exclusive help and deals. They can also do comparison shopping by simply scanning a bar code, as an app will tell them if the item can be found cheaper a couple of miles down the road or online.

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But this is only the beginning. Next year will be unlike any we’ve ever experienced. By then, depending on what you’re signed up for, when you simply walk by a store in the mall, you’ll get an e-mail inviting you to stop in for a special deal. But, more than that, you’ll likely be able to complete a full transaction on your phone. YEP. Imagine walking into a store and finding that perfect wooden salad bowl set, but the line is out the door. You would just scan the bar code into your phone and then actually buy it, with instructions to pick it up later or have it shipped, according to Lorél Marketing Group in Valley Forge, which handles marketing for the King of Prussia Mall.

If you’re the person who says, “Listen, I’m not high-tech,” “I don’t have a Facebook account,” or “I don’t even text,” don’t stick your head in the sand. By next year, you’ll need to do these things to get the best prices.

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