Cyber Monday Deals Loom Larger This Year for Shoppers

Gallery.ComputerShopThe term didn’t even enter the American lexicon until 4 or 5 years ago, but Cyber Monday, the day following Thanksgiving weekend, is looming more vital then ever this year for struggling retailers and credit card issuers.
Surveys are finding that 2009 will see more folks than ever returning to work on Cyber Monday and looking for Christmas shopping deals from their desks, a practice unwelcome by their employers but much anticipated by online retailers.
Recent surverys have found that half of those polled will do some Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday, and the retailers are responding with a barrage of deals. According to a survey conducted by BizRate Research, the majority of online retailers will feature special promotions for Cyber Monday, with 72.2 percent planning a special promotion, up from 42.7 percent just two years ago. A quarter of retailers will offer free shipping on all purchases.
Though a majority of  U.S. homes have high-speed Internet access, many Americans will shop for online gifts at the office. This year, according to a BIGresearch survey conducted for Shop.org, a unit of the National Retail Federation, 54.5 percent of office workers with Internet access, or 68.5 million people, will shop for holiday gifts from work, up from 50.7 percent in 2006 and 44.7 percent in 2005.
“As more people rely on the Internet for holiday shopping, retailers have stepped up their game to compete,” said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of Shop.org. “This year, promotions on Cyber Monday are extremely competitive as online retailers use an assortment of one-day specials to send shoppers online.”
The National Retail Federation is heavily promoting, CyberMonday.com, which launched last year as a one-stop site with more than 500 retailers posting holiday promotions and special savings throughout the season. The retail group says it will feature 400 “special offers” on the site starting on Cyber Monday.
The major credit card issuers are also contributing to the Cyber Monday antipication by increasing reward points through the holiday season. They are banking on more shoppers opting for online deals instead of paying cash or using their bank debit cards at the mall. Survey findings in recent days, however, showing that fewer shoppers are expecting to use their credit cards this year.
The Federation said shoppers expecting to spend with cash this Christmas increased by 9.1 percent compared to last year. The number of consumers saying they’ll charge it with plastic went down by 10.1 percent. In a separate survey by America’s Research Group, only 14.2 percent said they will use credit cards to pay for holiday gifts this year, one-third less than paid with plastic last year.
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