Shoppers turned to their computers for Black Friday sales

A woman shopping online

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"Even when shoppers went to stores, they were now buying almost 41 percent more online before going to the store to pick up".

Analysts are predicting that Cyber Monday will be another record-breaker. The National Retail Federation had forecast US holiday retail sales over the two months in 2019 will increase between 3.8% and 4.2% from a year ago, for a total of $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion. "With a projected $7.6 billion generated over Small Business Saturday and Super Sunday, consumers are taking advantage of post-Black Friday deals and are accelerating spend in the run-up to Cyber Monday".

Cyber Monday 2019 is here, and many South African retailers and service providers are running deals where consumers can enjoy big discounts. Shock dolls and objects linked to Disney blockbuster film "Frozen 2". However, $7.4 billion still marks the second biggest online US sales day ever, just after the $7.9 billion spent on Cyber Monday in 2018.

As of 5 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day, shoppers had spent $2.1 billion online, up 20.2 percent on a year ago.

For example, the Best Buy in Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal Mall sold out of Apple iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pros on Friday and had lines stretching the length of the store, with shoppers picking up Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch gaming consoles, among other big-ticket items.

A recent report from market research firm eMarketer predicted that overall U.S. holiday e-commerce spending would climb to $135.35 billion, which accounts for 13.4 percent of the estimated 1.008 trillion retail sales for this holiday shopping season. "More than half of consumers polled by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in the first week of November had begun making purchases".

"Retail sales at brick-and-mortar stores are expected to grow 2% in November and 6% in December, thanks to favorable weather and a "year-end surge" in disposable income", according to IBM, which utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze US Census and retail data.

More Cyber Monday links will be added as they become available.

So far in 2019, reported losses from online shopping scams are over $4 million, well in excess of the 2018 total figure of $3.28 million.

While most of the visits to retailers occurred on smartphones, the largest chunk of sales (59%) occurred on PC. While the streets around the commercial districts of New York City seemed quite tame, stores such as the Japanese retailer Uniqlo and the Israeli brand Adika, which offered great discounts, saw crowds filled with little room to maneuver.

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