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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Cyber Monday Reaches New Highs On Tenth Anniversary

Today is the tenth anniversary of Cyber Monday and experts are predicting that this could be the most lucrative online shopping day in history.

The tenth anniversary of Cyber Monday looks like it will be a record breaker, according to early indicators from experts.

Adobe, a digital firm that tracks online sales, expects Cyber Monday purchases to reach around three billion dollars — this would be the single most lucrative day in online sales in history.

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A survey by the National Retail Foundation says over one hundred and twenty million individual shoppers plan to shop online today. In addition, online sales have already hit over eight billion dollars over Thanksgiving weekend — a 17% increase over last year.

Lars Perner, an associate professor at USC and an expert on consumer behavior, said that the rise of Cyber Monday has happened naturally, as Internet use access across the United States has increased over the last ten years.

LEARN MORE: A brief history of Cyber Monday

In fact, online sales have elongated the holiday shopping season — giving retailers more time to move their products off shelves.

“A lot of retailers have found an excuse to have an additional round of sales,” said Perner. “Cyber Monday really lives on as a way to perpetuate the sales that now actually are starting to happen a long time before the start of Black Friday and even before Thanksgiving itself.”

Perner also notes that the recent backlash against retailers for beginning Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving has encouraged businesses to keep more brick-and-mortar stores closed and shift the attention to their websites.

“It also turns out a lot of retailers have been getting some backlash from being open on Thanksgiving Day itself last year, so a lot of them have chosen to keep their stores closed and be present on the web,” Permer said. “Then you’re not making people work, so it’s not as objectionable.”

But, Permer pointed out, people can still engage in retail therapy online.

“Some people may like to take a break from Thanksgiving,” he said, “especially if you have some difficult family situations coming up.”

This year also marks a major shift toward mobile shopping. Almost a third of online sales were made from either a smart phone or tablet this year. 

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