It’s almost that time of the year again, when retail stores like Walmart open incredibly early, and Jimmy and his mom are the first in line to get the discounted Xbox that Jimmy wants for Christmas. So what’s different about Black Friday this year? Retail mega stores like Walmart are seeking out shoppers through a new platform.

According to AdWeek, retailers are using Twitter to poach customers during the holidays. Here’s the way it works: Bob complains on Twitter that Best Buy didn’t have the product he wanted or the product he ordered was delivered late, and Walmart’s “Twitter Elves” discover Bob and propose a counteroffer. Fair game? I think so. Although Ken Wisnefski, CEO of WebiMax, thinks this method is not without risk. “If you tweet that you have a product the competitor doesn’t have on Black Friday, you better have it in stock because people are going to drive across town to your store or spend time visiting your website,” he said.

And according to experts, the battle on social media isn’t going to cease any time soon. Even technology giants are using Twitter-based advertising to lure shoppers from rivals. When Apple introduced its new iPod Air, Samsung and Microsoft targeted people interested in buying the product.

So basically Jimmy and all his friends will be camping out for days in front of Walmart if the retail chain has all the games for his Xbox that Best Buy can’t guarantee. I think I’ll stick to ordering all my Black Friday finds online from the comfort of my couch. I wish you the best of luck, holiday shoppers.

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