Retailers using Net to lure Black Friday shoppers

Many retailers are using the power of the Internet, e-mail, and social networks to promote their best deals, according to a survey.

Looking to entice shoppers on Black Friday, retail companies are using e-mail, the Web, and social networks to spread the word about their hottest deals.

Recent results from the National Retail Federation's eHoliday survey found that more than half of the retailers polled will send out special e-mails to customers announcing Black Friday deals.

Around 31 percent will use their own Web sites to promote those deals, while 39 percent will hit shoppers through their Facebook pages, and 21 percent will tap into their Twitter feeds.

"The rules for Black Friday have changed significantly," NRF CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. "Instead of waiting until Thanksgiving Day to announce their promotions, many retailers are getting shoppers excited about Black Friday by offering sneak peeks of deals in advance, using social media to create buzz, or teasing upcoming deals on their websites."

Eyeing discounts on electronic gizmos and other potential presents, the NRF's Black Friday shopping survey discovered that up to 138 million people could hit the stores Black Friday weekend (November 26-28). Among those, 60 million people said they'll definitely venture out that weekend, while another 78 million will wait and see if the deals are worth the effort.

For people willing to battle the traffic and crowds, the NRF has compiled a list of tips and tricks for Black Friday shopping.'s eHoliday study, conducted by BIGresearch, questioned 51 online retailers from September 1 to 27, while the NRF's 2010 Black Friday shopping survey reached out to 8,778 consumers from November 3 to 9.

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