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We've already discussed how mobile technology is going to make this Black Friday better, but recently-announced apps from Walmart and Macy's are bringing something new to the party that we've never seen before: In-store mapping.
On Black Friday, while you're shopping in either of these stores, you'll be able to use your smartphone or tablet to locate items anywhere in the store. The service is akin to what many retailers offer at an information booth, but now that time-saving data is available in the palm of your hand. In line with an overarching trend towards location-based mobile apps, this service should make your Black Friday trip much more efficient.
Walmart has made a notable stride in integrating mobile devices into its in-store experience: its app (for iOS or Android) features a "Store Mode" that not only recognizes when shoppers enter a Walmart, but then also offers special features like price checking, product descriptions, and more.
While in this mode, the app displays an interactive map of the store, offers directions to desired items, lists promotions that are specific to that location, and even lets shoppers buy things, which is especially useful if something is out of stock in-store. On November 19, the app will be updated with information for Black Friday, making it an invaluable tool for those visiting a brick-and-mortar Walmart.
On November 15, several special Black Friday features will go live in the Macy's app (although only for those using iOS, unfortunately): Customers will be able to browse Black Friday promotions that are specific to local Macy's stores, create shopping lists, receive push notifications about previously unadvertised specials, and know where to find their desired items in-store.
The Macy's app doesn't feature a "map" so much as a directory, as it lists the department and floors where items can be found. Still, knowing where that 50% off cashmere sweater is before arriving at midnight on Thanksgiving is far better than having to search amongst the crowds on the busiest shopping day of the year.
What do you guys think? Have Walmart and Macy's built invaluable apps for Black Friday, or do you think they're lacking something? What features would you add to make it better? Let us know in the comment section below!
Front page photo credit: Tip Top Tens