Nightly News | November 24, 2010
LESTER HOLT, anchor (Kabul, Afghanistan): And it's not too early to think about the day after Thanksgiving , the shopping day known as Black Friday . This year there are some new high-tech secret weapons in the hunt for big bargains and sweet deals. Here's NBC's Lee Cowan.
LEE COWAN reporting: Remember when window shopping involved real windows and not the virtual ones? Well, that is so yesterday. These days it's not just Santa who knows if you're naughty or nice; now a tech savvy customer can tell almost instantly if retailers are offering the best deal or not.
Mr. BRANDON BAUMGARDNER: To be a smart shopper, it would be better to have the -- a smart phone . Saves you a whole lot of time.
COWAN: We found Brandon Baumgardner in one store using his iPhone to scan bar codes, looking for a flat screen TV . He found one somewhere else and saved 100 bucks. Then there was Chris Green , googling a sleigh full of Web sites that offer price comparisons right on the spot. He stayed, finding the best price at Best Buy .
Ms. ALISON PAUL (Deloitte): It's a new landscape for a lot of folks, but it's where consumers are headed because it's more convenient and easier to find the information that they need right at their fingertips.
COWAN: She says 17 percent of shoppers plan to use their mobile phones this holiday. But what may be most surprising is that 12 percent say that social media sites may be the most valuable shopping tool of all. If you Facebook Sears , for example, we found that if you click "like it" on a product, say this GPS , you can knock the price from $119 down to just $89. What it all means for retailers is that getting customers into the store is no longer enough because, with a virtual shelf right in the palm of their hands, retailers know they have to keep up.
Mr. GARY HARRIS (Best Buy): We use the apps ourself. We do comparative shopping ourselves. So we're trying to meet the customer's needs both in product and in pricing.
COWAN: In an age where there's an app for everything, there is so no app for holiday spirit. But while Black Friday may have gone high tech , remember, it's still a