MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's officially the holiday season. Maybe you spent all your money over the weekend, but hopefully not, because today you've got more retailers jockeying for your business.
The National Retail Federation says it coined the term Cyber Monday back in 2005 to describe a sharp rise in online revenue and traffic the first Monday after Thanksgiving. That name has stuck, and the day has grown. Many shoppers still enjoy Black Friday for the tradition, but many others have given up leaving their homes when they can get just about the same deals online on Cyber Monday.
So here's how the weekend went for shopping, ahead of today: ShopperTrak's preliminary figures estimate combined retail sales of $12.1 billion over Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a projected decrease from last year. It says Thanksgiving Day grossed just shy of $2 billion, while Black Friday pulled in more than $10 billion. It's believed that shoppers shifted to more online than in-store shopping because the pandemonium and stress of lines in stores is not appealing to many people.
"We're lazy… it's just for convenience," said Beverly Gaulden, a Cyber Monday shopper. "And you know, we get about the same price on Amazon. It's just easier to do from the comfort of your own home in your sleep pants."
The National Retail Federation says its latest survey shows that 135.8 million consumers shopped over the weekend, and nearly 80 percent of holiday shoppers — 183.8 million people — plan to shop today on Cyber Monday.
According to a forecast by Adobe's Digital Index, U.S. online sales on Cyber Monday will reach $3 billion for the first time this year, making it the largest single day for digital sales in history. If achieved, that figure would represent a growth rate of 12 percent year over year, and a significant jump over the course of three years. Back in 2012, sales on that day fell just shy of $2 billion.
"It's more for that person who does not want to come out in public and shop," said Aundria James, HR Manager for the JC Penny at the Coastal Grand Mall. "But it also provides the convenience for that customer. Opposed to someone who wants to come out and engage with other friends, family. And just shop."
If you've got your card ready to shop on Cyber Monday, don't become a victim in the holiday season in your haste to get shopping deals.
Be wary when clicking links, especially in an e-mail or social media site; it might be a Phishing attempt. Enter the web site address manually. Make sure any website you go to has "https://" at the beginning, and the lock symbol in the browser. Never use a public network or WiFi for a financial transaction or to send sensitive information. Use a credit card rather than a debit card to limit your exposure. And keep in mind that sales last all month. Many retailers consider this entire week "Cyber Week," now and sales extend the whole week.