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Today is the day online retailers try to lure you to their websites for some Christmas shopping, but is Cyber Monday truly the last chance to get a good deal between now and Christmas? Consumer Reports says that like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is a marketing strategy and that it's still far too early to panic. You have over 20 shopping days to go.
Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are now behind us. Today is Cyber Monday, one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, and retailers are ramping up the online deals in record numbers.
A record 85 percent of online retailers will offer special promotions on Cyber Monday, which is up from 78.4 percent last year, according to a survey by Shop.org, the digital arm of industry group the National Retail Federation.
"Consumers are increasingly shopping and buying both online and in-store this holiday season,” Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell said in a statement. "Savvy retailers are getting the word out to customers about in-store offers and events using online vehicles such as Facebook, email, Twitter, and mobile alerts. Now more than ever retailers are integrating their digital and in-store promotions, working to create that seamless shopping experience that they know consumers demand and expect."
Retailers are enticing consumers with coupons, discounts, limited time promotions and online-only deals. The biggest treat of all, however, will be free shipping without conditions, according to Shop.org, which was first to coin the term Cyber Monday, in 2005. Forty-four percent of retailers will offer the customer-favorite on Cyber Monday, up significantly from 12.5 percent from last year. Another 29.4 percent will offer free standard shipping with conditions.
All this is for a piece of the big Cyber Monday pie. Americans are expected to spend over $1.5 billion online today, up from $1.25 billion in 2011, according to research firm comScore.
"Undoubtedly, most online retailers out there already have their deals ready to ensure they’re firmly in consumers’ consideration set this year," said Andrew Lipsman of comScore. "Consumers are showing renewed signs of optimism heading into this year’s shopping season, and it’s never too early for online retailers to win a fair share of their spending."
Overall online shopping is up this year. For the holiday season-to-date, $13.7 billion has been spent online, a 16 percent increase from last year. Black Friday was the heaviest online shopping date in 2012 so far, with a 26 percent increase in sales from last year's Black Friday. Even Thanksgiving Day, a traditionally light day for online holiday shopping, saw a 32 percent increase in spending.
Here are some of the web's best treasures for Cyber Monday:
To find more of the best Cyber Monday deals, look to CyberMonday.com, CyberMonday2012.com and FreeShipping.org, or try following @cybermonday on Twitter — or check out this list on Shop.org of more than two dozen retailers offering deals of the hours.