JC Penney store manager Joe Cardamone is getting ready for the holiday rush with a new weapon in his arsenal this season -- shopping apps.
Location based apps like Foursquare that let him instantly connect with his customers.
SOUNDBITE: JOE CARDAMONE, STORE MANAGER, JC PENNEY, (ENGLISH) SAYING:
'It lets their friends know that they are here, we can contact them with a coupon. I think right now we are doing a $10 off $50 promotion the minute that they sign on. They can go and they can blog what they see in the store: what they like to all of their friends."
JC Penney along with retailers like Victoria's Secret and Best Buy are busy this holiday season with mobile apps- programs that send coupons and other info right to shoppers' smartphones. Online retailers including Overstock.com and Amazon are also hoping to connect with consumers.
Shoppers are also tapping into apps like Shopsavvy, which uses barcode technology to find items.
Kurt Salmon Retail Strategist John Long is a fan of another app called Shopkick.
SOUNDBITE: JOHN LONG, RETAIL STRATEGIST, KURT SALMON ASSOCIATES (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"You go into a store, you allow the retailer to know you are there by enabling your location finder and retailers will push deals to you while you are in their store for items that they might want to have or feature on a special. Very similar to seeing a sign in a store that says 50% off, the only difference is it's a bit more of a secret so the consumer feels like they are getting something special that others aren't."
According to the Mobile Marketing Association more than half of US consumers plan to use their mobile phones for holiday shopping.
NPD Group's Marshall Cohen sees the trend growing:
SOUNDBITE: MARSHALL COHEN, CHIEF INDUSTRY ANALYST, NPD GROUP, (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"A lot of them are testing it this holiday. If it is successful, which it most likely will be because it's really nothing bad about it for the retailer, they can only benefit from it. Look for this to really accelerate in 2011."
And one of the most popular apps so far this holiday season is TGI Black Friday which has deals just for the day after Thanksgiving.