Retailers using Net to lure Black Friday shoppers

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 … Read more

Webroot's safety tips for holiday online shopping

With a new survey finding that half of the people polled plan to shop online for the holidays, security company Webroot offers some tips and tricks for staying safe in cyberspace.

Among the more than 2,660 consumers surveyed in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia by Webroot, 55 percent said they do plan to buy at least half of their holiday gifts online, a rise from 38 percent last year. But some of those people also plan to use search engines and public Wi-Fi to purchase those presents, activities that Webroot says could put buyers at risk.… Read more

Google launches shopping search

Google is launching a product peppered with plenty of fashion labels--but hardly a Google logo itself. Enter, a search site for fashion, accessories, and eventually other kinds of "soft goods" that Google claims can't be assessed by the text descriptions and basic product comparisons that fuel its Product Search engine.

It comes primarily from Google's acquisition of the technology and product team behind, a visual search engine. Munjal Shah, co-founder and CEO of Like, helped to push out the door based largely on technology that was already developing … Read more

Shopping on Google now includes inventory checks

As the retail industry anxiously awaits another holiday season amid difficult conditions, Google is also hoping to attract shoppers with new search features.

Over the next several days Google plans to introduce several new features to Google Shopping, the product search category of its site. As detailed by CNET earlier this summer, the idea is to blend online and offline shopping by providing information such as the location of local stores and whether a product is in stock at a retail store, said Sameer Samat, director of product management.

Starting today, Google users will see two new links on search-results … Read more

Get a sneak peek at Black Friday ads

Black Friday. The two words that cause palpitations in the hearts of bargain-hunters everywhere. They might as well call it National Cheapskate Day and be done with it. (No? Then you probably won't like my Rally to Restore Cheapness idea, either.)

As you probably know, in recent years Black Friday has evolved in weird and unexpected ways. First came Cyber Monday, online stores' answer to what was once a strictly brick-and-mortar affair.

Then came the Black Friday preview sites, which managed to snag "leaked" ads weeks in advance so shoppers could better plan their early-morning line-storming.

This … Read more

Giftmeister: A shopping tool for techies

It may be hard to believe that it's already November, but the 2010 holiday shopping season is just about upon us. With that in mind, Iron Horse Interactive has launched Giftmeister, an online social shopping tool that should be of particular interest to CNET readers.

Rather than focusing on just any old gifts, Giftmeister aims to help users find, purchase, and give tech products. The service offers a catalog of more than 225,000 gadgets, with live pricing from both online and brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Best Buy and Target. The tool also caters to shoppers on-the-fly with a … Read more

Zappos boots up iPad app

Zappos has laced up its first iPad app.

Dubbed Zappos Mobile, the free app provides the same service as the retailer's Web site. Users can sift through its selection of shoes and sneakers, choose their size, and buy the desired footwear from the app. The program also includes access to other Zappos products, including handbags, clothing, and accessories.

According to the company, purchases made through the application "are routed through's secure servers just as they are on the Web."

A company representative said that the Zappos iPad app had a "soft launch" … Read more

The best Internet Explorer security add-ons

Big things are brewing in the browser industry, which is good news for all Web denizens, regardless of your browser preference. At the same time, your current browser can probably be made safer through the proper application of the right security add-ons.

Top browsers in a state of continuous enhancement Google's Chrome browser continues to garner much of the attention of the computer press two years after its release--and for good reason. Frequent, automatic updates and a clutter-free interface are two of the many features that set Chrome apart from the competition, as Stephen Shankland describes in his DeepTech blog.… Read more

Macy's mirror lets your reflection try on clothes

Clothes shoppers wanting to experience the 21st-century version of dress-up have until November to try on the new Macy's Magic Fitting Room in the retail chain's New York's Herald Square flagship store.

The company is showing off a 72-inch mirror display that enables you to superimpose clothing on your reflection. The mirror features a multitouch screen that lets you select items such as tops, dresses, bottoms, and coats. After making a choice, the item covers your reflection, making it look like you're actually wearing the garb. Swimming in that shirt? Simply touch the mirror to take … Read more

Report: Tech spending to be down for the holidays

Most consumers plan to spend the same amount of money in the upcoming holiday shopping season as they did last year, and they plan to buy fewer games and electronics this year, NPD found in its annual holiday survey.

Some 61 percent of consumers say they will spend about the same amount of money this year as they did during the last holiday shopping season. Just 9 percent of respondents said they would spend more than last year. And 30 percent said they plan to spend less. By comparison, in 2009, 11 percent of respondents said that they planned to … Read more