More shoppers to take advantage of Cyber Monday this year

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BERRIEN COUNTY — While plenty of families completed their Christmas shopping during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, millions more are searching for that last holiday deal online.

Jennifer Tulley is one of them, having already shopped at Target in Benton Township last week. While the Benton Harbor resident has yet to take part in any Black Friday sales, she said she’ll be do the bulk of her shopping Monday online.

“I used to do a lot of my shopping at Kohl’s and Macy’s, but now you just find those same items online at a cheaper price,” Tulley said. “It makes all this walking around pointless.”

According to a survey from the National Retail Federation about shopping intentions for 2015, about 135.8 million American consumers will have shopped Thanksgiving weekend with almost 80 percent of holiday shoppers – 183.8 million people – planning to take part in Cyber Monday.

Ever since 2005, when the Monday after Black Friday was relegated to the busiest online shopping day of the year, the number of shoppers has grown due to high-speed Internet connectivity and more mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

To Sherry Booth, of St. Joseph, Cyber Monday is a product of online retailers like Amazon, eBay and Shopify.

Booth, who was doing some of her shopping in downtown St. Joseph Friday, said she won’t be buying anything online during the holiday season because she enjoys shopping locally.

In the week leading up to Black Friday, Booth said she has received an average of two emails a day from Amazon notifying her of what is on sale Monday.

“All those emails I get from Amazon are kind of annoying, especially since I only order something from there maybe twice a year,” Booth said. “People who shop online that much should take the time to put it back into our own economy.”

The NRF also found an emerging way that shoppers were placing orders online. The survey showed that out of all Americans who plan to shop online, about 24.8 million – or one in five – will use a mobile device. That’s up 22 percent from last year, the NRF said.

In the past few years, St. Joseph resident David Whitt said he has made online purchases on his iPhone.

As an Amazon Prime member, Whitt said he regularly checks the site to see if there are any deals that piques his interest.

“I do this regularly, not just on Cyber Monday,” he said. “I can be at work scrolling through my phone and make a purchase on the spot. It’s made things so convenient now. I was never a fan of going store to store in search of something that I already knew I wanted.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Nov. 30, 2015)

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