Cyber Monday popular, but be wary of impulse buying
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

30 November 2015

Cyber Monday — Nov. 30 — has surpassed the week prior to Christmas and the week prior to Thanksgiving “to take the No. 2 position for most popular days for holiday shopping,” a survey says.

The digital marketplace RetailMeNot Inc., and Placed, Inc., which “connects ads to store visits,” say they compiled the survey from more than 10,000 respondents.

Cyber Monday is “the digital cousin to Black Friday.”

Traditional Black Friday “continues to hold the reign as the busiest shopping day of the year in the U.S.,” and 56 percent of people surveyed planned to hit the stores on Nov. 27, according to the survey, conducted in October and November.

However, 55 percent of those surveyed consumers planned to shop equally across in-store and online retailers this holiday season.

“When looking at the way consumers research and spend this holiday season ... Black Friday and Cyber Monday are nearing parity in terms of consumer participation,” David Shim, founder and CEO of Placed, said in a news release earlier this month.

Although deals are being offered earlier and earlier in the season, Cyber Monday continues to be a day when retailers pull out big promotions, The Associated Press reports.

The Monday after Thanksgiving generated nearly $2.04 billion in online sales last year, up 17 percent from the previous year, according to research firm comScore Inc. That represented the heaviest online spending day in history and the first to surpass $2 billion in sales, said the firm, which tracks online sales.

Here are two tips for Cyber Monday shopping from GreenPath Financial Wellness:

“Your inbox will be bursting with ‘TODAY ONLY’ bargains. Internet flash sales can be a great way to get a bargain, but, like Black Friday, before you start online shopping, take time to make a plan and stick to your list. Many online sales encourage you to buy more than you need. Discounts or free shipping often are based on a minimum purchase. This can encourage you to spend way more than you planned and buy more than you need.”

Sometimes, it makes sense to pay for the shipping and forgo the discount for meeting a minimum purchase threshold. “Don’t buy something just to get free shipping, thinking you’ll gift it to someone. Odds are, it will stay with you,” Katie Bossler, GreenPath Financial Wellness personal finance counselor, said in a news release.


And here’s a reminder from SecurityScorecard, a security-risk benchmarking company:
 

“Understand that credit cards and other personal information are always a target for hackers, so consumers should be vigilant about monitoring their statements and credit services for fraudulent activity. Holiday shopping season is widely known to see increases in attack attempts on retail and eCommerce websites.”


Oh, and in case you’re planning to shop from your work computer:

According to CareerBuilder’s annual Cyber Monday poll, 12 percent of employers surveyed say they’ve fired someone for holiday shopping on the Internet while at work (compared to 8 percent last year). And, 56 percent say their organization blocks employees from accessing certain websites from work (up 3 percent from last year). The Harris Poll surveyed “a representative sample” of hiring and human resource managers “across industries and company sizes.”