Posted by Debra Worley - email
NATIONWIDE (WECT) - After a weekend of shopping in stores, many are saying goodbye to the crowded mall and hello to the internet for Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday and marks the beginning of the online holiday shopping season. This is the day online retailers strive to offer the lowest prices and the best deals.
Click here for a list of the top Cyber Monday stores
While more people came out to shop during Black Friday, data shows less money was spent on average, as shoppers hunted for bargains.
According to preliminary figures released Saturday by ShopperTrak, sales rose 0.5% to $10.66 billion Friday, compared with a year ago. That was on top of a 3% increase last year.
Online sales Thursday and Friday, however, rose 11% to $913 million, according to data released Sunday by comScore, an Internet research firm.
Web retailers are on the fast track to grabbing the attention of shoppers. Free shipping and online coupons are some of the bargains that bring in customers.
Marketing gurus have started calling the season a "Twitter Christmas" as merchants have been tweeting deals and previewing discounts on Facebook pages.
The Better Business Bureau offers following online shopping tips:
Forty-four percent of holiday shoppers make purchases online and every year scammers devise online schemes to trick them into divulging personal information such as credit card numbers. BBB recommends that online shoppers:
- Confirm the legitimacy of all "trust marks." You can confirm that certification from organizations such as BBB, VeriSign or TRUSTe is legitimate by clicking on the seal. A legitimate seal will direct you to the certifying organization's website.
- Make online purchases with a credit card. If the credit card number lands in the hands of ID thieves, remember your Fair Credit Billing Act protection which allows you to dispute the charges with your credit card company.
- Only pay on a secured site. Always look in the address box for the "s" in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the "lock" symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site when using Internet Explorer, BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page to select "Properties." This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted. If using Firefox, click on Tools in the menu bar, then Page Info.