Cyber Monday will keep e-merchants busy this year, with sales projected to increase as much as 15 percent.
The National Retail Federation predicts buyers will spend between 8 percent and 15 percent more this Cyber Monday than they did a year ago. In all, online sales in November and December should total about $44.7 billion. That contrasts with overall holiday sales, which experts say could drop by 1 percent or increase a modest 1.8 percent.
"People view the Internet as the place to get really good deals," notes Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, a division of the NRF.
With comparison shopping being the norm this holiday season, Cyber Monday will give shoppers a "sense of having a complete picture of what's out there," says Shaukat Shamim, CEO of Permuto, an online advertising company. "Shoppers feel they can make a more educated decision."
Retailers know Cyber Monday will draw buyers looking for deals, and about 87 percent of them will offer special promotions to entice buyers. This compares to 83.7 percent last year, reports the NRF. Some retailers such as JCPenney will offer two-day specials so buyers can begin their online shopping the day before Cyber Monday.
"Retailers have a very acute sense of the importance of Cyber Monday in kick-starting holiday sales and have been planning their promotions for months," says Silverman. "It seems like companies up the ante every year for Cyber Monday, and many holiday shoppers are eagerly anticipating the bargains that await them this year."
The workday won't keep shoppers from buying items at their desks, reports The Shop.org eHoliday Study. In fact, about 53.5 percent of employees with Internet access—or 68.8 million people—will shop for gifts while they're at work. This includes about 74 percent of adults, ages 18 to 24, and 56.3 percent of men.
"Although employers may cringe at the thought of their workers browsing or buying gifts online at work, there is a potential bright side," notes Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategic initiative at BIGresearch. "Employees who spend 10 minutes at the office completing their holiday shopping online are likely to be much more efficient than those who use extended lunch breaks waiting in the line at the store and fighting holiday traffic on the way back to work."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.