Cyber Monday becomes next big target for shoppers

After the Black Friday frenzy, consumers already have set their sights set on the next discount shopping target — Cyber Monday.

The possibility that Cyber Monday, in which promotions move online, could garner Black Friday-like attention is driven by a couple of big factors. One is consumers' insatiable appetite for cool electronics, as evidenced by how they sought out the latest digital products on Black Friday. The other is the move by traditional retailers like Walmart and Target intent on seeing more of their more sales coming from the Internet. They are hoping to take back more market share from Amazon and other online sellers.

Jenah Marsh of Covina, Calif., was fairly unimpressed with the deals she was finding Friday as she shopped with friend Tammy Frame of Thousand Oaks, Calif., at The Oaks Shopping Center. But the prospect of Cyber Monday had her brimming with optimism.

“Cyber Monday — it’s going to be really good,” Marsh said.

Retailers are sure to be emboldened by the online-selling tallies they are seeing so far this four-day shopping weekend.

Almost $5 billion was spend online between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, an 11.4% increase compared to the same two days last year, Adobe reports. In addition, Black Friday was on track to be the first shopping day ever in which more than $1 billion in merchandise was bought online.

“We still expect Cyber Monday to surpass Black Friday and become the largest online sales day in history with $3.36 billion," said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director of Adobe Digital Insights, in a statement.

Walmart was among the retailers benefiting from the boom in online sales via smartphones and other mobile devices. For its Black Friday event, 70% of the retailer’s online traffic was through mobile. And 60% of orders on Walmart.com were made with mobile devices. “Customers are getting more and more comfortable clicking the buy button on their smartphones,’’ Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said in a statement.

Target.com had already seen its biggest day ever early Friday with mobile sales accounting for more than 60% of online sales, according to the retailer, which also reported millions of shoppers in its stores, many anxious to buy electronics. Target was selling 3,200 televisions a minute as its stores opened. Other big sellers at the chain included the Apple iPad Air 2, iPad Pro and the Apple Watch. Sales of electronic wearables, such as the Fitbit Charge HR, were up 50%.

Mobile sales were up for Amazon.com, too, with Thanksgiving Day sales surpassing last year and last year's Cyber Monday. Its Black Friday sales on Amazon.com were on pace to surpass last year in terms of number of items ordered, Amazon said. Customers had ordered more than 100,000 toys in just the first few hours of Black Friday, the retailer said.

As a result, some were juicing their Cyber Monday sales with some good deals. Black Friday wasn't even over before Walmart was promoting its Cyber Week deals on its website.

It's easy to see why, based on how consumers scooped up electronics bargains Friday.

Mike Farris arrived at the Best Buy at Gulf Coast Town Center in the Fort Myers area at 5:30 a.m. on Black Friday. He waited more than two hours in line for a shot at a 55-inch Sharp TV, a $499 television on sale marked down to $249.

“Early bird gets the worm,” he said. “For that price, you can’t go wrong.”

Jordas Reyes, the tired but happy general manager of the store, was pleased with his in-store sales.

“Nobody got trampled or anything like that,” he said as he greeted customers.

Justesen reports for the Ventura (Calif.) Star, Logan for the Fort Myers (Fla.,) News-Press and Snider for USA TODAY. Contributing: Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


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