COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Black Friday is over, but families can still take advantage of offers and discounts for holiday shopping thorugh Cyber Monday.
This year, 182 million consumers are projected to take advantage of the season's lowest in-store and online prices, with 71.1 million online shoppers, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
"Retailers have been preparing for months for this occasion. They are stocked and ready to help customers find the gifts and other items they want at great prices during the entire holiday season," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in an NRF news release.
After the impact of last year's record inflation and interest rates, shoppers remain price-sensitive. According to an Adobe survey, $79 million in sales reflects a 47% increase from the previous year, with consumers opting for the "Buy Now, Pay Later" flexible payment method to manage their finances and stretch their budgets.
E-commerce spending on Black Friday surged by 7.5% since last year, setting a new record of $9.8 billion in the United States, according to Adobe Analytics. This underscores the trend of budget-conscious consumers seeking the best deals and actively searching for them online.
Alana Freeman, a student at Lincoln University, expressed her disappointment with this year's Black Friday sales.
"In comparison to when I was younger, there used to be a lot more sales and discounts, with deals like 50%, 60%, or 40% off," Freeman said. "Nowadays, you mostly come across discounts of around 20%, 15%, which is not what I was expecting."
Online shopping has become the new normal. Online and other non-store sales are expected to increase between 7% and 9% to a total of between $273.7 billion and $278.8 billion. This amount increased from $255.8 billion the previous year, according to NRF.
"I realized people are more in tune and shopping online more than they are in the store," Freeman said.
Adobe anticipates that online consumers will spend approximately $10 billion throughout Saturday and Sunday, with a historic high of $12 billion projected for Cyber Monday.
Statista predicts that the most sought-after items on Cyber Monday will include electronics, clothing and accessories, toys, sport and leisure products, and household appliances.
Freeman said she will take part in the cyber sales on Monday, specifically for clothes.
"Particular stores you know us college girls shop at, Shein, Rue 21, Forever 21, Pretty Little Thing. You know, those type of stores," Freeman said.
To ensure safe online shopping, Better Business Bureau shares some tips.
Know the advertiser.
Be cautious of mimicked websites by scammers and ensure the presence of valid contact information.
Check a site's security settings.
Verify that the site's web address begins with "HTTPS://" and features a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page.
Protect personal information.
Beware of too-good deals.
There may be hidden costs, or your purchase may sign you up for a monthly charge.
Watch out for phishing.
Be wary of phishing emails appearing to be from reputable brands, as clicking on links can expose you to malware and identity theft.
Shop with a credit card.
Employing a credit card offers additional protection against fraudulent transactions, enabling easier dispute of unauthorized charges.
Keep your receipts
Save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you receive the item you purchased and are satisfied.