Office supplies chain Staples Inc. this week used social media to advertise price cuts of nearly 50 percent for Nov. 27 on certain laptops, GPS devices and computer monitors, and still other merchants are expected to follow suit.
Dan de Grandpre, editor-in-chief of dealnews.com, said retailers are smart to use social networking sites because shoppers probably will stick around as followers of the company even after the sale.
"Twitter and Facebook are now major ways to disseminate information," Grandpre said.
One in five shoppers plans to use the sites in their holiday shopping this season, according Deloitte Research. Dealnews.com and other Web sites also are offering applications and e-mail and other notification services to help shoppers track deals.
And the fun won't end Nov. 27, traditionally seen as the day that the holiday shopping season launches.
After Black Friday, dealnews.com's application will show sales for the following Monday, now known as Cyber Monday because it's the first weekday after the Thanksgiving weekend and many consumers shop from their desks that day.