Holiday shoppers tap their cell phones for $6.6 billion in Cyber Monday deals

By: 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Weeks of deals didn’t stop people from heading online to shop on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Cyber Monday is likely to be the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics, the research arm of software maker Adobe. Nearly $6.6 billion in sales were forecast by the end of the day, up about 17 percent from a year ago, Adobe said. And more people are picking up their phones to shop: Web traffic from mobile devices, including tablets, is expected to top desktop computers for the first time this year, Adobe said.

When Frank Yanover browsed Amazon’s Cyber Monday deals through his phone, he wasn’t looking for anything in particular. But he spent $300 on a Vitamix blender that he had eyed before, which he said was a $200 discount.

“I never bought it because it was so expensive,” said Yanover, who is retired and lives in Hollywood, Florida.

Over the holiday weekend, he bought an iPad from Best Buy through his phone and then picked it up at a store. And using his voice-activated Echo, he bought Amazon’s $30 Echo Dot for his bedroom, which was $20 off.

Others seem to be doing the same. The Echo Dot was the top-selling electronic item on Amazon, followed by the Fire TV. Board games, Fingerlings and Legos were best-sellers in Amazon’s toy section.

Over at eBay, one $745 Apple MacBook Air was sold every five seconds, the company said. And J.C. Penney said its top-selling items on its website were towels, $25 diamond stud earrings and a Liz Claiborne bag that has a built-in phone charger.

Target and Toys R Us offered 15 percent off most items. Walmart.com tripled the amount of items available on its site from last year. But Amazon is expected to be the big winner over the holiday season, with Bain & Co. expecting the online retailer to capture 50 percent of all online sales growth this year.

C. Britt Beemer, the chairman of the consumer-focused America’s Research Group, says computers and smaller electronics were the top-sellers this Cyber Monday, followed by clothing. “It’s easier to ship,” he says about apparel.

The shift to online shopping has been noticeable even before Cyber Monday. At a Toys R Us in Toledo, Ohio, on Friday, the parking lot was about half full. Melissa Wetzel, who said she would also do some shopping online, said her Black Friday in-store shopping had been relaxing since she didn’t have to fight the crowds.

“It’s been pretty easy,” she said. “I guess most are shopping online.”

Category: