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Entries in Cyber Monday (21)

Tuesday
Nov272012

Amazon Leads Online Sales Boom on Cyber Monday

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Cyber Monday online sales were up 28 percent compared with a year ago, according to IBM Benchmark.  And much of this was fueled by one company: Amazon.

The retail powerhouse is -- by far -- the biggest online player.

“Amazon’s sales this year are going to be about $60 billion,” says Barney Jopson, who covers the retail industry for the Financial Times.

The second-largest online retailer is Walmart, which “reckons next year it’s going to sell about $9 billion of stuff,” Jopson said.

But while consumers enjoy Amazon’s low prices and reliable deliveries, a potential downside during the holidays could be a decline in customer service and advice from knowledgeable sales people.

As Jopson explains, “Amazon is all about having the broadest possible selection and then the way they think about it is consumers can do their own research online.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov262012

Cyber Monday Deals Lure More Shoppers on Mobile Devices

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Early estimates of Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, showed sales may reach $2 billion, and a growing portion of that may come from the pockets of a record number of mobile shoppers.

As of 2 p.m. EST, payment system PayPal had a 196-percent increase in mobile payment volume on Cyber Monday 2012 than Cyber Monday 2011. On Black Friday, the increase in the number of people shopping on their mobile devices was stark for PayPal as well as auction site eBay, which owns PayPal. On Friday, there was a 153-percent increase in mobile volume transactions compared to Black Friday last year. PayPal's volume increased almost three-fold, 193 percent, compared to last year's Black Friday.

The annual event is increasingly becoming Cyber Week instead of a one-day event as retailers open their arms for Americans who prefer to avoid crowds and compare prices online.

Amazon.com, Target, Walmart were all promoting Cyber Week specials in addition to deals exclusive to Cyber Monday.

Shoppers are expected to spend more than $1.5 billion Monday, up 20 percent from last year, according to research firm comScore. Another prediction from Adobe Digital Index forecasts spending will reach $2 billion, as many shoppers were waiting for Monday's online deals to make their purchases.

It has already been a big holiday weekend with a record $59.1 billion spent at U.S. stores and websites, according to the National Retail Federation.

Online sales on Thanksgiving Day, traditionally not a popular day for online shopping, rose 32 percent from last year to $633 million, according to comScore. And online sales on Black Friday were up 26 percent from the same day last year, to $1.042 billion. It was the first time online sales on Black Friday surpassed $1 billion.

The National Retail Federation says 247 million shoppers hit stores and websites to cash in on savings during the holiday weekend, up nine percent from last year. Nearly two-thirds of those shoppers went to stores or hit the Web on Black Friday.

Black Friday is now history along with Small Business Saturday. Now, it's Cyber Monday's turn.

On Twitter, retailers were tweeting in full force. Verizon Wireless purchased Twitter's promoted post, #CyberMonday, while Radio Shack marketed a different deal each hour of the day with the hashtag, #24dealsin24. At noon EST, Radio Shack was offering a TomTom GPS navigator for $99.99 after a discount of 38 percent.

From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST, casual clothing and home retailer Land's End is listing door busters with the hashtag, #LE12HRS.

At midnight, Amazon.com was 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 diamond earrings.

"Cyber Monday is really all about doing your homework, and it really means looking for the really good deals," retail analyst Marshal Cohen said. "If it's a really good deal, grab it."

But Cyber Monday might be losing its luster. The busiest day for Internet shopping has been overshadowed this year by online sales that started as early as Thanksgiving Day.

"Look for Cyber Monday to be important, but not necessarily getting that same growth rate that they've had in years past," Cohen said.

The rise in smartphones and tablets has changed consumers' shopping habits since Cyber Monday's inception seven years ago. Cyber Monday was first widely publicized by Shop.org in 2005 to persuade shoppers to buy online, as people were still warming to e-commerce.

"There were so many deals being offered online, starting from Wednesday and all the way through the weekend and now some of the money has already been spent," Cohen said.

Cyber Monday is also an easier alternative for people who don't like long lines and chaos that comes with the Black Friday weekend.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov262012

From Click to Delivery: Inside Amazon's Cyber Monday Strategy

Digital Vision / Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The inner world of Amazon looks like a bustle of conveyor belts and bargains on Cyber Monday.

Amazon has 80 giant fulfillment centers strategically sprinkled around the globe that are ready to fulfill every order from click to delivery. The process follows miles of conveyer belts inside a massive 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse that is like the unseen shopping mall that never closes.

Josh Teeter is a former military intelligence officer and now the general manager of Amazon's Phoenix warehouse. The facility stocks everything from soccer balls to table cloths and one of the biggest tasks is making sure they always have enough of the right products.

"That's kind of the magic of Amazon and the selection. Making sure you have all that and it's here at the right time," Teeter said. "So we're the kind of customer facing side of that there's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure we have the right product."

You won't find any robots inside Amazon's fulfillment centers. Orders pop up on a scanner, get plucked from a shelf by hand and are then dropped into a barcoded yellow bin.

Amazon added a small army of extra workers in its fulfillment centers just to handle the holidays and all those electronics, tie-die fashion kits and heated pet bowls that absolutely must get out the door and fast.

"It gets very busy at this time, and folks work hard for sure but again, we bring in help we're hiring 50,000 seasonal employees to help meet that demand and we're excited," Corporate Vice President Craig Berman said.

Amazon has faced serious complaints that workers are pushed to the limit in tough conditions and encouraged not to report on the job injuries. But Berman was quick to point out that their employees actually make far better wages than their brick-and-mortar shopping mall counterparts.

"We are a company of constant improvement so these jobs are very, very safe jobs, and our wages, they're very well-paying jobs," Berman said.

In 2010, Cyber Monday racked up 13 million individual Amazon items sold in 24 hours. Last year the number grew to 17 million. This year, the company says, will turn out to be the biggest yet.

One of Amazon's secrets is barcodes. Everything inside their warehouses has a bar code to find it, to ship it, to track it.

But how can they have everything from medieval chainmail to clock oil and binocular magnifying glasses on hand at all times? Only part of the answer is huge inventory. The other part comes from small business owners like Dan O'Donnell whose tiny jewelry supply store, which sells that clock oil, has exploded by selling through Amazon. This small businesses' stuff show's up on Amazon's website and Amazon gets a cut of the action.

But despite the huge inventory and third party sellers, Amazon still can't guarantee the lowest prices, so be sure to shop around for the best deals.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov262012

Cyber Monday Deals Likely to Lead to Busiest Online Shopping Day

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, is increasingly becoming Cyber Week for many retailers as many Americans prefer to avoid crowds and compare prices online.

Amazon.com, Target, Walmart were all promoting Cyber Week specials in addition to deals exclusive to Monday alone.

Shoppers are expected to spend more than $1.5 billion today, up 20 percent from last year, according to research firm comScore. Another prediction from Adobe Digital Index forecasts spending will reach $2 billion, as many shoppers were waiting for today's online deals to make their purchases.

It has already been a big holiday weekend with a record $59.1 billion spent at U.S. stores and websites, according to the National Retail Federation.

Online sales on Thanksgiving Day, traditionally not a popular day for online shopping, rose 32 percent from last year to $633 million, according to comScore. And online sales on Black Friday were up 26 percent from the same day last year, to $1.042 billion. It was the first time online sales on Black Friday surpassed $1 billion.

[ CLICK HERE TO SEE SOME OF THE BEST CYBER MONDAY DEALS ]

The National Retail Federation says 247 million shoppers hit stores and websites to cash in on savings during the holiday weekend, up 9 percent from last year. Nearly two-thirds of those shoppers went to stores or hit the web on Black Friday.

Black Friday is now history along with Small Business Saturday. Now, it's Cyber Monday's turn.

At midnight, Amazon.com was 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 diamond earrings.

"Cyber Monday is really all about doing your homework, and it really means looking for the really good deals" retail analyst Marshal Cohen said. "If it's a really good deal, grab it."

But Cyber Monday might be losing its luster. The busiest day for Internet shopping has been overshadowed this year by online sales that started as early as Thanksgiving Day.

"Look for Cyber Monday to be important, but not necessarily getting that same growth rate that they've had in years past," Cohen said.

The rise in smartphones and tablets has changed consumers' shopping habits since Cyber Monday's inception seven years ago. Cyber Monday was first widely publicized by Shop.org in 2005 to persuade shoppers to buy online, as people were still warming to e-commerce.

"There were so many deals being offered online, starting from Wednesday and all the way through the weekend and now some of the money has already been spent," Cohen said.

Cyber Monday is also an easier alternative for people who don't like long lines and chaos that comes with the Black Friday weekend. This season proved to be no different from past Black Friday horror stories.

A man suspected of shoplifting two DVD players from a Lithonia, Ga., Walmart Sunday died after an altercation with two store employees and a contract security guard.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the employees on top of the middle-aged man, according to a police report obtained by ABC News affiliate WSB-TV. When an officer bent down to handcuff the suspect, he noticed there was no resistance.

At that point, the officer noticed the suspect was bleeding from the nose and mouth, according to the report. He was transported to DeKalb Medical-Hillandale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"This is truly a sad situation," Dianna Gee, a Walmart spokeswoman, said in a statement issued to ABC News. "We don't know all of the facts right now. We're in the process of working with law enforcement to determine all of the facts and cooperating and providing any information we have to assist in the investigation."

Gee said the contract security guard will no longer be providing services to the retailer. The two store employees have been suspended with pay while Walmart assists police in the investigation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov262012

Cyber Monday: Five Tips for Safe Online Holiday Shopping

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While you won't get toppled by someone racing you to get that doorbuster deal, Cyber Monday comes with its own host of dangers.

Online Black Friday shopping was already up 26 percent from last year, according to comScore, and if you review some of the major online security threats from the past year, you'll realize that this is the year to start being incredibly vigilant about how and where you are typing in your personal data online.

So before you fork over your credit card number and other information, make sure you're following these five safety tips:

1. Make sure you are buying from a secure site.

"The first thing you want to do is look at the URL and make sure it says HTTPS," says Natalie Severino, a security expert at Trend Micro.  Along with the HTTPS in the web address you want to make sure you see the small padlock icon in the address bar when you get to the payment steps.  Both of those will indicate that you are shopping on a secure site, which has a trusted and safe backend system.

2. Make sure your security software is up to date.

It seems like the obvious and boring tip, but it really is important.  Every security expert ABC News spoke with stressed that keeping the anti-virus software up to date and running should stop you from going to an unsafe shopping site.

3. Don't trust all those emails.

Your inbox may be flooded with "great Cyber Monday deal" messages, but not all of those emails are safe.  "Some of the emails and the deals seem too good to be true.  And they are," says Claudia Lombana, PayPal's Shopping Specialist.  "The best thing to do is not to click the link, and go to a new webpage and try and go to it that way.  It is only clicking links from those direct e-mail sources that can get you in trouble."

4. Use a different password at every site.

If you can learn anything from this year's online security disasters it is to never use the same password across your accounts or sites.  If you are prompted to sign up for a new account to make a purchase, make sure to create a new password.  Both Lombana and Severino suggested a password with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.

5. Be even more mindful when shopping on your phone or tablet.

According to PayPal, there was a 193 percent increase in mobile shopping this Black Friday over last year.  And that's just the start -- the number of people shopping on their phone or tablet this holiday season is only going to go up.  The experts say, however, that those mobile shoppers need to be even more vigilant about security.  "The number one thing when shopping on a mobile device is to password-protect the phone or tablet," Lombana said.  Also, make sure to keep in mind all the other tips and always make purchases over a secure and password-protected WiFi network.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov252012

Why Cyber Monday May Not Matter Anymore

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Unlike previous years, Cyber Monday is not a better day to shop online or for electronics than Black Friday.

Cyber Monday was first widely publicized by Shop.org in 2005 to persuade shoppers to buy online, as people were still warming to e-commerce.

These days, many people are not only warming to shopping on their desktop computers, but also making purchases on their mobile devices. And early indications are that online shoppers aren't waiting for Monday.

According to payments company PayPal, on Thanksgiving Day alone, the company saw global mobile payment volume increase 173 percent compared to the holiday last year. The number of global customers who shopped through PayPal mobile increased 164 percent compared to Thanksgiving last year.

So, what are the categories that may have the best and worst deals?

Lindsay Sakraida, features director at deals site Dealnews, doesn't go so far as to say don't buy electronics on Cyber Monday, but she dispelled the myth that it is better to wait to buy electronics online rather than shop earlier on Thanksgiving weekend.

Sakraida said apparel and accessories may be better to buy on Cyber Monday rather than the preceding weekend.

Last year, the number of deals for apparel and accessories increased 27 percent on Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday, while there was an increase of 20 percent in Dealnews' Editors' Choice deals, what the editors deem are the best offers. A similar trend is also seen for home and garden deals, Sakraida said.

"Meanwhile, the volume of camera, laptop, tablet, and smartphone deals dropped after Black Friday, while TVs curiously saw a minor uptick," she wrote on Dealnews.com.

Some retailers, like Apple, are offering deals only on Black Friday.

Others have killer door busters for a very small number of products only in the first hours after a store opens, like Best Buy.

Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday may have a large volume of inventory on sale, but they might not have the steepest discounts.

The two times of the year that offer the steepest online discounts are January to February and August to September, when discounts average 46 percent, according to Tamra Feldman, vice president of marketing at personalized shopping deals site Shop It To Me.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov212012

Cyber Monday Deals You Can Get Right Now

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It’s not yet Black Friday but some stores are already offering Cyber Monday deals.

Cyber Monday is typically the first Monday after Thanksgiving, and it’s become well-known for the deep discounts offered to online shoppers that day.

This year, retailers aren’t waiting until Monday.  They’re making deals available right now.

Kohl’s, for example, is offering 500 “Early Bird” online specials.  They call it early Black Friday.

Why are retailers offering Cyber Monday now?  One of the reasons is the prevalence of mobile devices which enable shoppers to shop anywhere, at any time.  It’s estimated that 24 percent of shopping this holiday weekend will be done on mobile devices.

Here are some of the deals you can get right now:

  • Among the many deep discounts Kohl’s is offering starting on Wednesday, shoppers may get a Vivitar 12.1 mega pixel digital camera that’s regularly priced at $149.99 for $59.99.
  • On Amazon.com, sales are already available under a promotion the company’s calls Black Friday Deals Week.  Discounts are offered on electronics, computers and accessories, clothing, jewelry and a variety of other items.
  • NewEgg’s “Pre-Black Friday Frenzy” offers discounts on computer hardware and software, including an ASUS laptop computer for $249.
  • Target is offering a “Beat the Rush” sale.  Shoppers will get 25 percent off toys and 30 percent off kitchen and home items, among the specials offered.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov192012

Activist Groups Boycott Cyber Monday

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In preparation for Cyber Monday, the Day of Virtual Shopping that takes place on the first Monday after Thanksgiving, online retailers are pulling out all the stops, from free shipping deals to exclusive online promotions.

This year’s Cyber Monday -- a term coined in 2005 by Shop.org, the online arm of the National Retail Federation -- is shaping up to be a big one.  According to comScore, which measures digital commerce, consumers spent some $1.25 billion in 2011, up 22 percent from 2010.  And this year should show similar growth.

But not everyone is happy with the online consumption.  Some organizations and companies have asked shoppers to take a deep breath before pulling out their credit cards -- or, more pointedly, to boycott Cyber Monday altogether.

On Nov. 8, Jobs with Justice and American Rights at Work, a labor rights advocacy and campaign organization, launched an anti-Cyber Monday campaign.  Its goal is to get consumers to sign a pledge not to shop on Cyber Monday because of “dangerous, sweatshop-like working conditions facing U.S. warehouse workers who fulfill online orders for retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon,” Sarita Gupta, executive director of Jobs with Justice and American Rights at Work, said in a statement to ABC News.

On its website, the group cites workplace injustices including the “backbreaking pace of work,” “extreme temperature,” and “expendable employment,” among other issues.

The group says it was inspired by recent strikes by Wal-Mart employees and warehouse workers.  In mid-September, workers in Southern California went on a 15-day strike that included a six-day, 50-mile pilgrimage for safe jobs.  Around the same time, hundreds of people marched in Dallas and San Diego, demanding better work conditions.

On Wednesday, workers at a Wal-Mart-contracted warehouse in Mira Loma, Calif., went on strike to demand better conditions at their facility, according to Warehouse Workers United, a union-backed group that represents workers.  The workers are employed by NFI, a logistics company, and Warestaff, a temporary labor agency -- not Wal-Mart.  But all of the merchandise that flows through the facility is headed for Wal-Mart stores.

Chris Allen, 39, a striking worker, told ABC News, “The conditions inside the warehouse are really unsafe.  We don’t have good equipment to perform our job.  We need new dock ramps, new carts, new scan guns.  People are still getting hurt out there.”

Kathleen Hessert, a spokeswoman for NFI, said that the allegations against its warehouses are “totally false,” and that the company “unequivocally maintains a safe workplace where people are treated with respect and dignity and it holds the staffing agencies to those same standards.”

Kory Lundberg, a Wal-Mart spokesperson, said that the boycott “is just another exaggerated publicity campaign aimed at generating headlines to mislead our customers and associates.”

But Wal-Mart is not the only target.

Two years ago, PETA staged a Cyber Monday protest against DKNY’s ”pelt-pimping” Facebook page.  This year’s target is the fashion store Bebe, said PETA spokesperson Danielle Katz.  She said PETA is encouraging consumers to complain to Bebe’s customer service line and tweet anti-Bebe messages.

Last year, Patagonia, the sportswear company, asked customers not to purchase the 60 percent recycled polyester R Jacket, one of its best-selling items, because making it “required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people.”  On its website, the company noted that transporting the jacket to its Reno, Nev., warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product, and that the jacket left behind two-thirds its weight in waste.

“Because Patagonia wants to be in business for a good long time -- and leave a world inhabitable for our kids -- we want to do the opposite of every other business today,” it wrote.  “We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else.”

(Of course, this begs the question: If Patagonia is so worried about the environment, why offer the jacket in the first place?)

This year, the website’s homepage will feature the message “Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need,” Patagonia spokesperson Jen Rapp told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec162011

Friday is Free Shipping Day

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Friday marks the fourth annual free shipping day! Roughly 2,573 merchants are participating, promising free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve, with restrictions of course.

The idea for free shipping day was started by Luke Knowles who created the website FreeShipping.org in 2007, in an attempt to extend the online holiday shopping season to benefit both shoppers and vendors.

In only three years, free shipping day has managed to bring in more money in sales than Black Friday. In 2010, free shipping day beat Black Friday by nearly $300 million, and earned a place in the record books doing so. On Dec. 17, 2010 more than $900 million was spent over the internet nationwide, making it the third heaviest shopping day in history.

In 2010, more than 1,750 stores registered with the official Free Shipping Day website, attracting almost 313,000 visits in a 24-hour period. Some of the most popular stores include JCPenney and Lands’ End.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec122011

Holiday Spending Online Still Soaring as 'Green Monday' Kicks Off

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(RESTON, Va.) -- After spending big bucks on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and all the days since, you would think holiday online shoppers would be slowing down a bit, but that’s not the case.

Retail analyst Comscore says online holiday sales for the week that ended Friday totaled $5.9 billion -- up 15 percent over last year.  Three days last week registered online sales of more than $1 billion, with two of the days, Dec. 5 and 6, actually surpassing Cyber Monday 2010.

Total online spending for the 2011 holiday season to date is now approaching $25 billion.

Meanwhile, Monday, Dec. 12, is Green Monday. The term was coined by eBay in 2007 to mark the second Monday in December, a traditionally heavy online spending day because it marked the last day consumers could order items online without having to pay to expedite shipping.

Last year, Green Monday racked up $954 million in online sales. Retail experts say the explosion of free shipping offers this year by online retailers may dull Green Monday's significance.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio