NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The holiday shopping marathon continues with Cyber Monday.
Thousands of retailers are luring customers with special online offers and millions of shoppers are expected to ditch the stores and look online for holiday deals.
The National Retail Federation says a record 141 million people shopped over the holiday weekend, up from 139 million people last year, but total spending was down nearly three percent from last year.
However, online sales started soaring at the same time as people were hitting the malls.
“The online sales started sooner, some of the early numbers we’re getting from IBM say on Thursday online shopping was up 20 percent and then Friday another 10 percent,” said Bridget Carey of CNET.
The Consumer Electronics Association said tablets, smartphones and other tech gifts are helping to boost sales.
By the end of the day, nearly 40 percent of the population will have purchased holiday gifts online, CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported.
“More and more people every year love to shop online, last year it was the number one online shopping day in history reaching about 1.5 billion and this year we anticipate about a 10 point, 13 point jump so it’s going to be pretty exciting,” Trae Bodge, senior editor at RetailMeNot.com, told 1010 WINS.
The National Retail Federation said eight in 10 retailers will offer special Cyber Monday deals.
But experts said you have to be prepared in order to take advantage of them.
“You want to download an app called Price Blink and what it does is when you’re shopping online it will actually let you know if there’s a coupon available for that item or if another website sells that same item for less,” said Scott Gamin, founder of Help Save My Dollars.
Also, follow your favorite retailers on social media because they’ll have real-time updates throughout the day, alerting customers to their best online deals, Finch reported.
Once you have what you want in your cart, tech expert Andrea Smith said, “Don’t check out until going to RetailMeNot.com — that will give you a coupon code for the store that you’re shopping at if there are some available, and there usually are.”
Lastly, make sure the product will be shipped for free because experts said if the shipping isn’t free, you’re not getting a good Cyber Monday deal, Finch reported.
Forrester, a market research firm, predicts 167 million Americans will go bargain hunting on the web, spending $78.7 billion this holiday season — up 15 percent from last year.
Before shopping, make sure you update your anti-virus software to safeguard your computer and personal information, Finch reported.
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