Mark Oldenburg processes outgoing orders at Amazon.com’s fulfillment center in DuPont, Wash. Shoppers spent more than $3 billion online this “Cyber Monday,” making it the biggest online shopping day ever. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Photo: Ted S. Warren
Photo: Ted S. Warren

Cyber Monday morphing into multi-day event

Cyber Monday is expected to bring in major retail revenue — more than $3 billion — for the holiday season, and several retailers have already kicked off their online sales to get a head start on the competition.

About 36 percent of consumers say they plan to shop online on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation. That amount is up from the 34 percent who said they would shop that day in 2015. Overall, an estimated 137 million people plan on shopping during Thanksgiving weekend — many of who will go online to do it.

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Overall, holiday sales are expected to exceed $655 billion this year, according to the NRF. Adobe Digital Insights predict online sales will reach more than $91 billion this holiday season, an increase of about 11 percent.

“Our data indicates that online shopping during the lucrative holiday season will start earlier and last longer,” said Mickey Mericle, vice president of marketing and customer insights at Adobe. “Faster shipping, ‘click and collect’ and retail promotions starting earlier than ever are contributing to the extended shopping season.”

Now, online sales are being split up throughout the holiday season. People aren’t just going online for Cyber Monday. In November and December, there will be an estimated 57 days that generate more than $1 billion each in online sales. According to Adobe, online sales will reach more than $2 billion on Thanksgiving and more than $3 billion on Black Friday.

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“I spend the majority of my money online,” said Darian Washington, a 20-year-old student at the University of Dayton. “It’s convenient, quick and easy. You don’t have to stand in line.”

Holiday shopping is vital to a stable economy since about 30 percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas, according to the National Retail Federation. Adobe researchers say more people are opting to buy purchases online because of cost savings and convenience.

Online retailers like Amazon are expecting “record-setting sales” during the holiday season. Last year on Cyber Monday, sellers on Amazon received orders for more than 23 million items, a more than 40 percent increase year-over-year.

Retailers like Walmart have already rolled out “Pre-Black Friday” deals. Sales included $3 winter apparel for the whole family, a television for less than $80, laptops for less than $450, children’s toys, and a treadmill for under $530.

RELATED: Online sales driving increases in holiday shopping

It’s not all bad news for brick-and-mortar retailers. Larger retailers, like Walmart and Target, will sell both online and in stores.

Gordon Gough, the president and CEO of the Ohio Council for Retail Merchants, said retailers have to respond “very quickly” to the ever-changing demand of consumer trends.

“It’s just part of the omnichannel of retail,” he said.

Shoppers are not only shopping with their computers, but now they’re using apps and mobile sites to browse for purchases. According to Adobe, mobile visit growth is expected to continue to grow as customers increasingly use smartphones to shop around.

RELATED: Shipping companies expect package volume to skyrocket

Pam Goodfellow, a Prosper Principal analyst, said younger generations are driving online sales. They’re also influencing older generations to buy through mobile and online sales.

Millennial holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of $1,427 this year, up 33 percent from $1,072 in 2015. According to the report, 54 percent of the generation plan on spending more this year than they did last year.

“For many Millennials, every Thanksgiving weekend they can remember has involved hopping online to find the best deals,” Goodfellow said. “For this group, it’s more than just a weekend of good deals, it’s a holiday tradition.”

Visit the Dayton Daily News Black Friday Guide for in-depth coverage of the holiday season.

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