Black Friday, Nov. 23, officially opens the holiday shopping season, followed by Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, where you are encouraged to support brick and mortar businesses and buy local. Last, but certainly not least, is Cyber Monday, Nov. 26, where consumers can catch countless deals online. The holiday has become one of the nation’s most anticipated shopping days of the year.
The stress of shopping can be brought to a minimum with a couple of clicks. If you are looking to find the best Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday discounts and deals, look no further than your computer or mobile device. Retailers across the country have taken to digital messaging to share with their customers the best (and sometimes unpublicized) deals. With the highly-anticipated shopping days right around the corner, see how you can save money and time by cashing out online.
Ditch the paper
Don’t have time to keep up with the gambit of store circulars? Then visit the official Black Friday website for a compilation of print and online deals. Your days of scrounging through newspapers for coupons and sale information are over.
If you are brave enough to head out on Black Friday to grab the door-buster deals, your mobile device may help you beat the rush. Stores like Wal-Mart, Nordstrom and Macy’s have updated their smart phone applications to include store maps, product locations and prices. While everyone else is scrambling around the aisles, you will know exactly where to go to grab the item you are looking for.
Become a fan
Find your favorite brands on Facebook and be sure to “Like” their page so you can receive exclusive coupons and deals. Check back frequently to ensure you do not miss out!
Check your Twitter timeline
Many retailers are on Twitter, and many of them are tweeting deals before (or in lieu of) posting them on their websites. For example, follow @blackfriday for a round up of deals from retailers like Target, Sears and Amazon.
As retailers compete for more sales, Black Friday deals are hitting more websites. For example, Macys.com will offer many of the same deals online as they will in the store. That means you can avoid the long lines altogether by staying home and shopping via the Internet.
Use coupon codes
If you are going to stay indoors and do your shopping, most merchants offer special codes for free shipping. But with enough searching (try entering the words “coupon code” in your preferred search engine), you can locate codes for deeper discounts and even freebies.
S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead.