MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the nation’s retailers continue to celebrate a very positive Black Friday, it appears more is in store for a big Cyber Monday.
Economists say Friday’s retail sales shot up a whopping 6 percent over the same day last year, and Monday’s online numbers are also expected to increase.
That fuels more evidence that as consumers continue to slowly loosen their grips on wallets, economic confidence is returning to holiday spending. The online shopping spree is being helped by deep discounts and free shipping from many retailers.
It’s estimated that 107 million Americans will click the keyboards during Cyber Monday, either at work or once we get home. And for many, the holiday shopping spree picks up where many left off on Friday — searching out irresistible deals, but without the crowds!
Debra Hays is among the millions who are bitten by the Cyber Monday bug. In fact, the public relations manager at Fleishman-Hillard in Minneapolis will use her lunch break to snap up irresistible bargains.
“It’s just so easy to go online and do it all right from the comfort of my home or comfort of my office. I don’t have to be struggling with the other customers or trying to get a sales person’s attention,” said Hays.
But aside from Friday’s crowds, it’s the promise of free shipping that entices more and more shoppers from the malls to their mouse.
“It really gives customers kind of a second chance, a second bite at the apple,” said Brian Steinhoff, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association.
Steinhoff said preliminary numbers from Black Friday show a robust 6.7 percent jump in sales over last year. Furthermore, Cyber Monday is becoming just as important to retailer’s economic recovery.
“It sure has. Retailers you can see by what they’re doing with the values they’re offering. Some of the special one-day only things, free shipping a lot of them will do that. Yes, it’s very important, they take it very seriously,” explained Steinhoff.
Hays expects to do about half of her holiday shopping online, saving her both money and time.
“It’s a very smart marketing strategy, but it’s certainly works and it’s certainly has been really convenient for me,” she said.
Figures from 2009 show that about $877 million was spent last year on Cyber Monday.