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Experts Estimate $1.5 Billion In Sales On Cyber Monday

Shop.org's Cyber Monday Website (credit: CBS 2)

Shop.org’s Cyber Monday Website (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Americans clicked away for deals on Cyber Monday, which was expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history.

It was estimated that this year’s Cyber Monday would be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third year in a row. According to research firm comScore, Americans are expected to spend $1.5 billion, up 20 percent from last year on Cyber Monday.

1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels Reports From Long Island

“Cyber Monday is still relevant. We’re expecting about 129 million consumers to shop from their offices…versus about 122 [million] last year,” said Mike Gatti with the National Retail Federation.

During this Cyber Monday Ruben hit the stores first at Macy’s in Yonkers, then headed home to check out the deals.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports From Yonkers

“I haven’t had a chance because I was at work, so now I’m going to home. I’m going to go online and see what’s good online right now.”

Another shopper, Irene, said she had already been online and already done most of her shopping.

“I normally shop online,” she said. “It’s not because it’s Cyber Monday.”

And for Danny, going inside and having to wait on line – in the other sense of the expression – is a hassle.

“Everyone’s rude and inconsiderate, and everyone’s pushing to get everyone out of the way to get what they’ve got to get,” he told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.

Many brick-and-mortar stores may have been closed by Monday evening, but if you haven’t clicked your way to savings yet, as late as the nighttime hours there was still time to cash in on the specials.

“I think there are going to be a lot of deals coming up, definitely toward the end of the night,” MP Dunleavy with dailyworth.com told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

Experts said the deals will keep coming every hour on the hour through midnight.

“It’s not as if there is any one moment you can get a good price, you can get lucky on Cyber Tuesday,” brand strategist Adam Hanft told CBS 2’s Smith.

Early results showed that online shopping was up 24.1 percent compared with the same time period a year ago, according to figures by IBM Benchmark released at noon. Sales from mobile devices, which include tablets, rose 12 percent. The group does not track dollar amount sales.

The strong start to Cyber Monday, a term coined in 2005 by a shopping trade group that noticed people were doing a lot of shopping on their work computers on the Monday following Thanksgiving, came after overall online sales rose during the four-day holiday shopping weekend that began on Thanksgiving.

“Online’s piece of the holiday pie is growing every day, and all the key dates are growing with it,” said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. “The web is becoming a more significant part of the traditional brick-and-mortar holiday shopping season.”

Amazon.com, which is started its Cyber Monday deals at midnight on Monday, is offering as much as 60 percent off a Panasonic VIERA 55-inch TV that’s usually priced higher than $1,000.

Sears is offering $430 off a Maytag washer and dryer, each on sale for $399. And Kmart is offering 75 percent off all of its diamond earrings and $60 off a 12-in-1 multigame table on sale for $89.99.

Select retailers are also offering deals of the hour with time slots are posted on Shop.org. Deals can also be found on sites like DealNews.com, SlickDeals.net and FatWallet.com.

But experts say Cyber Monday can get competitive. To shop smart, you can make a list, set up online accounts in advance and use websites like Google products to compare prices.

“These are great ways to ensure you find the cheapest possible prices on items you have your eyes on,” said CNET’s Sree Sreenivasan.

“There are places like decide.com and hukkster.com that will tell you when the price drops on a specific item that you want,” Dunleavy said.

How well retailers fare on Cyber Monday will offer insight into Americans’ evolving shopping habits during the holiday shopping season, a time when stores can make up to 40 percent of their annual revenue.

“I generally don’t do Black Friday just because it gets a bit hectic out, especially in Manhattan,” a shopper told Smith.

The convenience of Cyber Monday is a big draw for many.

“Just press it and its shipped to your house in 5 to 7 days, it’s easier,” another shopper told Smith.

With the growth in high-speed Internet access and the wide use of smartphones and tablets, people are relying less on their work computers to shop than they did when Shop.org introduced the term “Cyber Monday.”

“People years ago didn’t have — connectivity to shop online at their homes. So when they went back to work after Thanksgiving they’d shop on the Monday after,” said Vicki Cantrell, executive director of Shop.org. “Now they don’t need the work computer to be able to do that.”

Experts said you’ll still find deals in the stores because of the so-called ‘science of shopping,’ CBS 2’s Smith reported. Experts said retailers want shoppers in the stores because people tend to buy more when there.

For the overall holiday season, research firm comScore predicts online sales will be up 17 percent to $43.4 billion. And the firm expects online sales to surpass 10 percent of total retail spending this holiday season.

The National Retail Federation estimates that overall retail sales in November and December will be up 4.1 percent this year to $586.1 billion.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)