Retail stores are really stepping it up this year and taking full advantage of technology.  But are consumers taking advantage of the information and discounts available?

Mannequins are holding QR codes in stores offering specials and discounts…QR codes are displayed randomly throughout malls…Store-fronts have signs asking their customers to “check in” using foursquare and Facebook Places and receive a discount.  You can even download an app to comparison shop!

.:: QR CODES ::.

Sears and Kmart deployed mobile shopping walls in high-traffic areas including airports, malls, movie theaters and bus shelters across the country. The walls, which feature top toys from Sears and Kmart, provide quick response (QR) codes for each item so that customers can make purchases directly from their smartphones, giving customers an innovative and efficient way to accomplish their holiday shopping.

Need a QR Reader for your mobile phone? Click Here

.:: foursquare ::.

Last year was the first year for the big Black Friday foursquare specials. There were 12 specials that ran nationwide. This year, that number’s up to at least 20, proving again the growing popularity of foursquare.

What is foursquare?

“Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. Foursquare guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and surfacing relevant suggestions about nearby venues. Merchants and brands leverage the foursquare platform by utilizing a wide set of tools to obtain, engage, and retain customers and audiences.”

Here are some of the nationwide deals that were offered on Black Friday (many of which will also last through the holidays), just by checking in on foursquare:

  • JCPenney: Check in to unlock $10 off a $50 purchase. They’re also donating $25 to the Salvation Army for each Black Friday checkin between 4 am and 1 pm.
  • Sports Authority: Spend $100 and get a $25 cash card. Twenty people who check in (nationwide) will win a $500 gift card.
  • Brookstone: Check in to receive $10 off a $70 purchase.

Facebook Places works pretty much the same way that fourquare does.


In today’s economy, comparison shopping is important to most consumers.  There’s an app for that!  Check out this video to see how you using technology can save you money…even when you’re already in the store!

Using Technology to Shop and Save

(Happy Holidays from Design Lab 10!)