The holiday shopping forecast is in and it looks good for retailers and consumers. An increase in holiday spending is expected this year, but retailers are still doing everything they can to compete for your hard-earned dollars—and that includes accommodating your cell phone.
Technology is evolving, which means better savings and a fun shopping experience for you. Here’s how to be a tech geek (even if you’re not) this Friday.
- Mobile devices are influencing shoppers more than ever. Consumers are researching products and comparing pricesright from the aisles. This season, retailers like Target and Saks are offering free Wi-Fi to make it easier for consumers to search, use store apps and redeem coupons.
- Barnes & Noble also offers free Wi-Fi and lets NOOK owners read entire books free for up to one hour per day. You can also redeem in-store coupons right from your iPhone (with iOS 6) at checkout with Passbook.
- Target’s 20 hottest toys will have QR codes on the shelves. Use your phone to scan, purchase and have it shipped for free. Select locations will have in store GPS, which allows your smartphone to guide you straight to the product you’re looking for.
- 24 Macy’s stores, including downtown Seattle, Mall of America and Union Square in San Francisco, will have Toys”R”Us pop-up shops on site, making it easy to find something for everyone on your list.
- Coffee can be an essential part of holiday shopping and Starbucks is making it easier to get your caffeine fix with Square mobile payments. Download Square Wallet to your iPhone or Android, link your debit or credit card and pay for your coffee via QR code.
- Use PayPal for online and in-store purchases, and if you find a lower price within 30 days, they will reimburse you the difference. Airline tickets that drop in price within seven days of purchase are also eligible. And PayPal will even cover your return shipping costs if an item doesn’t work out.
One final tip: PayPal isn’t the only store upping the price-matching ante. Some stores like Best Buy are making an exception for the holidays and matching online-only retailers like Amazon. Home Depot and Lowe’s will not only match other retailers’ prices, but they’ll beat them by 10%.