Black Friday seems to start earlier each year, and this year is no exception, with stores like Walmart opening at 8 pm on Thanksgiving night. For anyone planning on waking themselves from a tryptophan induced sleep to brave the traffic for a great deal on electronics, navigating the vast amount of deals can be tricky. Luckily, smartphones have made finding deals and keeping track of deals and coupons easier than ever. Businesses are able to email a receipt, accept a coupon off a smartphone, and even publish Black Friday flyers and other deals through apps. However, just like the vast amount of deals, there is an abundance of apps in the app store, each claiming they can get shoppers the Black Friday deals they are looking for.
At a quick glance, many of apps seem great, but which ones are actually valuable to shoppers? Turns out, not many. So which apps are actually helpful? The best apps seem to come straight from retailers, if they have them. But for shoppers planning to visit more than one store, most 3rd party apps aggregate deals from multiple retailers. However, many of these apps functioned poorly when testing, or gave too many deals, making it tedious to sift through the information, and some apps offered inaccurate information on prices.
Walmart (Free, Avaliable on Android OS and iOS)
Walmart is a popular destination on Black Friday and this year it opens shortly after most shoppers have finished dessert and are struggling to keep their eyes open at 8pm. For shoppers planning on making a Black Friday trip to Walmart, the store’s official app lists its daily deals, but it also has holiday shopping guides. These guides list out current deals on plenty of electronics among other items. While they have released their Black Friday flyer, they have yet to update the app, but it features a “Coming Soon” logo at the bottom of the home screen. In the interim, shoppers can check out regular bargains to see if anything is worth buying now, and can continue to hunt for deals if they choose not to brave the most notorious day of shopping. Users of the app can quickly scan through holiday deals by category, and the prices listed are trustworthy, since it is Walmart’s branded app.
Target (Free, Avaliable on Android OS and iOS)
The iconic bull’s-eye logo has become synonymous with convenience and low prices, and Target’s app is already advertising upcoming Black Friday deals. Current deals include discounts on Beats headphones, Canon digital cameras, various laptops, eReaders, a $9.99 HDMI cable, and much more. The ads are updated weekly, so users can check back to see if any deals have updated or changed. When clicking into a deal, users can save that deal to a list to reference later. Overall, this app would be very useful to anyone planning on a trip to Target for Black Friday, it already has a decent list of deals and Target will add more as the day gets closer.
Black Friday Shopping (Free, Avaliable on iOS only)
For strategic shoppers planning on hitting multiple stores for Black Friday deals, Black Friday Shopping by Reinvent supplies a vast selection of black Friday deals as well as a countdown, to the second, of the arrival of Black Friday. The user interface is easy to navigate and provides the latest Black Friday ads and news on its home screen. This app has digital copies of retailers’ flyers in digital form. Users of this app are also able to sign up for Black Friday alerts to know the moment flyers break. A side menu can be accessed which gives categories such as deals, coupons, ads, and more. Users are able to purchase items directly through the app; it brings the user to the site via a browser within the app and offers cash back for approximately 1,400 stores on purchases made through the app. For instance, it features a 40-inch Toshiba 60Hz LCD HDTV through Best Buy, originally $419.99 with a deal to get the TV for $179.99 with 3% cash back at Best Buy if purchased through the app.
TGI Black Friday (Free, Avaliable on Android OS and iOS)
TGI Black Friday by Ecatcher, Inc., features popular deals from various retail and online stores, with tiles representing each business. After clicking into a store via the home screen, users are able to sort deals by categories, including DVDs, video games, smartphones, laptops, MP3 players, and more. This app is currently featuring the same deal on the 40-inch Toshiba 1080p LCD HDTV as the Black Friday Shopping app, but without a cash back offer. This app also shows the price of the item at other popular stores and online retailers, and not every item has this. However, many of the electronic items did feature comparisons. Overall, this app offers more information to anyone not interested in seeing flyers that can be delivered to their house.
BF Ads (Free, Avaliable on Android OS and iOS)
BF Ads features a landscape only user interface and it lets users search by maximum or minimum price, store, category, and also allows shoppers to sort search results alphabetically or by price. In addition to discounts and Black Friday deals, the app also features coupons from stores. Currently, some deals are “TBD” for the price, and we assume these deals will be updated over time. It has a decent list of stores to search through, including Best Buy, Target, Radio Shack, Toys R Us, and more. Users can add deals to a list to keep track of them and they can also keep up on the latest Black Friday news with this app. This app works well on a tablet, but because of its landscape orientation, it’s awkward to navigate and frustrating on a smartphone.