Shop By Phone: Mobile Makes Dent In Cyber Monday Sales

Online ShoppingAbout 96.5 million Americans plan to shop online during this year's Cyber Monday -- up from 85 million in the prior year, according to Shop.org, the National Retail Federation's online division.

While some Cyber Monday shoppers say they will shop online from their office, the majority will shop from their living room or kitchen. The survey reveals that 91.5% of Cyber Monday shoppers -- or 88.2 million Americans -- will shop from home on Cyber Monday, while 13.5% -- or 13 million people -- will shop from work, but Shop.org made no mention whether the loss of jobs prompted that transition.

Mobile phones will also have an impact on retail sales this year. Cyber Monday shoppers are reaching for their mobile phones more frequently to make a purchase or research products. In fact, 3.8% will shop from a mobile device such as an iPhone or a BlackBerry, according to Shop.org. A small percentage of shoppers -- 1.5% -- say they will shop from another location such as a coffee shop or a friend's house. The survey, conducted Nov. 26 through 28, 2009 by BIGresearch, suggests that 41.5% of Cyber Monday shoppers plan to hit the Web early in the morning. About 38% expect to shop late morning, 32.9% will shop in the early evening, and 22.7% will shop in the late evening.

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Retail stores say they will increase and extend Cyber Monday promotions into December this year to entice consumers to spend. For example, Borders books online sent an email coupon for 50% off priority shipping along with buy 1, get 1 at 60% off on Cyber Monday and Dec. 1. Amazon.com sent an email promotion telling consumers they can get a jump on Cyber Monday deals.

A recent survey found that 87.1% of retailers will have a special promotion on Cyber Monday, up from 83.7% last year and 72.2% in 2007. The majority -- 42.9% -- will focus on specific deals, compared with 32.9% on one-day sales, and 15.7% on free shipping for all purchases. Half of retailers will distribute promotions and deals to shoppers through a special Cyber Monday email. Aside from the hundreds of special offers across the Web, Shop.org's Web site, CyberMonday.com, will feature a Deal of the Hour on its front page. The deal will highlight a different retail promotion every 60 minutes. Retailers participating in the Cyber Monday Deal of the Hour include Sears, Borders, The Home Depot and Red Envelope.

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