In 2004, many online retailers noticed their sales spiking on the Monday after Thanksgiving. One year later, Cyber Monday emerged as one of the most anticipated days on the holiday shopping calendar. Adobe Systems, a company that tracks online retail sales, estimated that consumers spent a record $2.29 billion on Cyber Monday in 2013—up 16% from 2012.
Why the Monday after Thanksgiving?
There are a few theories. Some speculate that Cyber Monday’s online shopping surge is a “never again” response to the chaos of Black Friday sales. Others believe the first day back at work after Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for people to shop in relative calm from their office computers. A word of warning: Some companies block access to popular shopping sites to discourage this behavior, and some have even fired employees for shopping online at work.
Which Sites See the Most Traffic?
Internet giants such as Amazon.com see a boost in business on Cyber Monday, but so do the online counterparts of brick and mortar stores such as Walmart, Best Buy and Target. The most important thing to remember when shopping on Cyber Monday is to buy only from sites you know and trust. If you’re paying with gift cards, great! You have an added measure of security. If you’re using credit cards, be sure to run a complete virus scan on your computer before you enter a single digit of your credit card number online.
Protect yourself from unauthorized charges. Check your credit card transactions with free online banking from The First. http://www.fnbn.com/online-mobile/online-banking/online-banking/
Can You Keep a Secret?
Some cyber retailers can’t. Sadly, online sites can ruin the holiday surprise for people on your shopping list by emailing order confirmations to shared email accounts. If you have a family email account that your spouse and children frequent, consider setting up your online shopping site accounts using an email address only you have access to.
One other drawback of Cyber Monday is that purchases are delivered to your home, increasing the risk of them being stolen or damaged in transit. Many brick and mortar stores now allow consumers to make purchases online and pick them up at the store, so it’s worth checking to see if you have that option.
Cyber Monday offers a convenient alternative to mall shopping, plus the time to more carefully consider your purchases before clicking the “Proceed to Checkout” button. But whether you prefer the peace and quiet of online shopping or the sights and sounds of the season you experience at the mall, have a wonderful holiday!
What gift items do you prefer to buy online? Let us know in the comments below.