Online holiday sales are expected to increase by 12 percent this year, reaching between $92 and $96 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.
In just five years, Cyber Monday — when people shop online the Monday after Thanksgiving — has continued to draw a growing number of consumers hoping to get the “best” deal around.
Last year, the shopping holiday drew 123 million people to websites, and they spent $1.25 billion on that day alone, according to Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation.
This year’s incentives, which include free shipping and exclusive online promotions, are expected to draw even more interest. With online deals set way before Halloween, 72 million people are expected to do some form of online shopping today, according to the latest eHoliday study from Shop.org.
Krum resident Wandaliz Elder said she was planning to do most of her shopping at websites for Old Navy and the Children’s Place, along with some other sites.
“I can pretty much compare prices between locations and without wasting gas and time,” Elder said via e-mail.
Officials with IBISWorld, a Los Angeles-based market research firm, stated in a news release that consumers like the convenience of online shopping. The market firm projects today’s revenue will skyrocket by 21.4 percent.
More than 800 online retailers posted their deals to CyberMonday.com, a website run by Shop.org. Stores such as Kohl’s, Toys “R” Us, Sears and others began offering deals on Black Friday. Many retailers offered per-hour deals during Black Friday, which started at midnight Thursday and continued until the end of Friday at CyberMonday.com.
Jonathan Johnson, president of Overstock.com, stated in an e-mail that last year, his site received 3 million visits on Cyber Monday.
“We expect to surpass that this year,” he said.
David Schulz with the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio said shoppers should be careful, especially on days like Cyber Monday that draw more hackers online.
Schulz said consumers who plan to shop online should be aware of a couple of things. They need to verify the websites are secure and that the browser indicates “https,” which is more secure than a regular site.
“A few days after you make your purchases, visit your bank and review your purchases, since merchants can mess up,” Schulz said.
He also suggested people avoid buying purchases over an insecure Wi-Fi connection at public locations.
“When we do business on the Internet, we need to take the proper precautions just like we would do at the store,” he said.
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.