Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times
As with everything else in the world, Black Friday is quickly being replaced with a more evolved, technology-based successor otherwise known as Cyber Monday.
The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 by a marketing team at Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation. The idea was to provide online retailers with a catchy hook to match the shopping frenzy fueled by Black Friday.
Now seven years later, the Monday after Black Friday is known to nearly all as Cyber Monday — which falls on Monday, Nov. 26, this year — and has evolved into a staple of the holiday shopping season that is now starting to outcompete Black Friday.
In 2011, the Monday after Thanksgiving was the highest-grossing online shopping day in United States history, with spending reaching $1.25 billion, according to the market research firm comScore.
The aggressive efforts of discounting by many online retailers, including Amazon.com and Apple, paid off with a 26 percent jump in spending over 2010 spending and outpaced Black Friday by a healthy margin, according to CNN.
Cyber Monday this year is expected to reach $2 billion, a staggering growth of 18 percent since 2011, according to a 2012 forecast by Adobe Systems Inc. based on a marketing cloud analysis of more than 150 billion online visits to retail websites.
In the same study, experts also expect that purchasing activity from mobile devices will increase by 110 percent over last year, making up 21 percent of total online sales this holiday season.
To meet the demands of online customers, retailers have started hosting web-based Black Friday sales; however, it is expected to still be the second largest online sales day next to Cyber Monday.
Here are some of the top online retailers offering Cyber Monday deals:
— With the slogan “Save the date. Save money,” Target is gearing up to offer a plethora of online deals.
— As expected, Overstock.com has been prepping all year for Cyber Monday, according to its website, and even displays a countdown to Cyber Monday on its website down to the seconds.
— Cyber Monday this year is expected to reach $2 billion, a staggering growth of 18 percent since 2011.
— Wal-Mart touts savings up to $1,000 on Samsung 55-inch 3D television sets, and up to $400 on the smaller 40-inch (and non-3D) version, among other specials, according to Forbes.
— Amazon.com offers Cyber Monday deals with low prices and sales on electronics, videogames, DVDs and more.
— Visit kohls.com to preview Cyber Monday sales. If you sign up for email sale alerts, you will receive 10 percent off your next online purchase. You can sign up for mobile sale alerts when you text the promo code: SAVE07 to KOHLS (56457).
— Macy’s typically previews its sales on macys.com before Cyber Monday hits.
— When you shop Belk.com, don’t forget to check out its coupons tab for special deals and extra percentages off.
— BestBuy.com on Cyber Monday offers what it calls the best online sales of the year.
— Sears.com urges consumers to not “drop the snowball” and ticks out the “biggest sale of the year, online only.”
— Shop JC Penney’s cyber sales at jcp.com. It offers cyber deals on Sunday, Nov. 25, as well as Monday, Nov. 26. Penney’s also offers free shipping with no minimum through Cyber Monday.
With all of the technology advancements, Cyber Monday does come with a unique set of challenges. Even though you are shopping in the comfort of your home, less obvious dangers to your finances lurk.
Here are some basic steps to help consumers avoid risk, according to NBC news:
— Don’t open suspicious emails. This will help you avoid becoming a victim of key loggers and malware from phishing attacks.
— Never send unencrypted credit or debit card data in email.
— Ensure your system is free from malware and viruses by being up-to-date with security scans.
— Become familiar with your online merchants. Make sure they have a valid SSL (secure socket layer) web server certificate from a reputable supplier. If SSL is not enabled, don’t enter card details, as your data can be intercepted by hackers.
— Don’t enter card details if you are suspicious of a website or merchant.
Also, make sure your computer and mobile programs has secure passwords. Here is the list of the worst passwords, according to SplashData: Password, 123456, 12345678, qwerty, abc123, monkey, 1234567, letmein, trustno1, dragon, baseball, 111111, iloveyou, master, sunshine, ashley, bailey, password, shadow, 123123, 654321, superman, qazwsx, michael, and football.
If waking up at the crack of dawn and fighting the crowds isn’t your preferred shopping method, stay home and stay cozy because this year’s Cyber Monday deals are expected to be bigger than ever.