Cyber Monday was hot for online deals this year, but not as unique as it used to be, experts said.
Early reports suggest a 30 percent jump in sales from last year to a new one-day high, according to IBM Smarter Commerce, which monitors online sales for 500 top retailers.
Still, the allure of shopping on high-speed Internet at work on the first day back from Thanksgiving break has dimmed since retailers launched CyberMonday in 2005.
Today, more Americans have access to high-speed Internet outside work, at home and on mobile devices. Deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social offer online bargains daily. And just as stores opened before Black Friday, many retailers promoted online deals long before Monday.
Online sales on Thanksgiving Day jumped 32 percent this year from last to reach $633 million. They rose 26 percent this Black Friday to top $1 billion for the first time. And they were forecast to rise 20 percent on CyberMonday to a record $1.5 billion, said e-commerce researcher comScore.
Many South Florida businesses took part in Monday's shopping blitz.
Kimpton Hotels offered 25 percent off and other perks at the Epic in Miami and Surfcomber Miami, South Beach. A-Swing Golf Academy in Margate offered a two-hour private, filmed golf lesson and swing analysis for $59 instead $225 through Living Social.
Many South Florida shoppers found solid bargains.
Ceci Dadisman, 31, marketing director for the Palm Beach Opera, hadn't planned to shop Monday, but received e-mails from retailers "that had really, really good deals, and I took advantage."
Dadisman picked up a gift she'd been meaning to buy her husband after luxury leather goods purveyor Coach offered 25 percent off Monday. "That rarely happens at Coach," she said.
Plus, the new mom used a half-off coupon to buy work clothes at Anne Taylor Loft that could fit better after her recent pregnancy.
Beejel Chen, 32, a pharmacist from Weston, browsed some of her favorite shopping sites and scored. She bought a black cocktail dress for 25 percent off at YouCeleb.com, which sells boutique-style clothes. And she found an electronics gift at Amazon.com at 35 percent off, plus no shipping fees.
Nationwide, 129 million people were expected to shop online CyberMonday, up from 122 million last year, according to comScore.
Even so, online holiday shopping spiked as early as Thanksgiving day this year, the National Retail Federation found.
More than 35 million people visited U.S. stores and websites Thursday, up from 29 million last year. And 89 million shopped Friday, up from 86 million last year. Each spent an average $423 during the long weekend, up from $398 last year. That pushed spending for the four days to a record $59 billion, the group said.
Dadisman summed up the appeal of online shopping: "There's just so much more selection. You don't have to deal with driving," said the busy arts marketer and mom.. "And I just don't have the time anymore to go out to stores and search for things."
What shoppers bought Thanksgiving weekend
Clothing and accessories: 57.7 percent
Toys: 34.6 percent
Books, CDs, DVDs and video games: 39.8 percent
Electronics: 37.7 percent
Gift cards: 32.6 percent
Jewelry: 15.2 percent
Source: National Retail Federation
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OCTOBER 31, 2014
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