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This shouldn’t be a surprise: it’s all about mobile this ‘Black Friday’

The madness that is the Holiday season is upon us and with it retail deals flying right, left and centre in a bid to capture the attention – and wallets – of the hungry shopper.

One in five consumers will hit stores on Thanksgiving Day itself this year with the aim of getting in early on those Black Friday deals, and of those who are smartphone users, 75% will use their mobiles while they’re there, reports Google.

In fact, this holiday season is looking likely to be the “most mobile ever”, according to the search giant. Early data from Google shows shopping searches from smartphones have increased 3.5x year-on-year and are continuing to grow.

But it’s that in-store bit particularly that counts. Consumers are readily using their mobiles as shopping companions; from showrooming on price to garnering product info and reviews on site. Said Google: “It’s no surprise that when we looked at the top spending days in 2013 for in-store sales, [they] are also the days we saw the biggest spikes in shopping searches on mobile devices.”

Retailers are reacting accordingly, with the likes of Target updating its store app with location-based technology (powered by Point Inside) that connects products with store maps. Users can build a shopping list or search for an item and the direct aisle location of that product will appear within the app.

Walmart meanwhile, launched a Search My Store app for holiday that lets shoppers see if specific items are available at their local branch, as well as where it can be located within it.

And Macy’s is using Google’s proximity marketing platform to let customers know if an item is in stock at their local store. When customers search on Google for a product, Google Shopping results will show where the nearest Macy’s store is that stocks it, along with product details and directions.

Check out our full story on all things retail strategy for this Thanksgiving weekend on the WGSN site early tomorrow.

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