Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday: Online Holiday Shopping Strategy Guide

While Friday marked the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, known by many as "Black Friday", many online retailers have their sights (and sites) set on a rush of web shoppers today-- "Cyber Monday".

The term "Cyber Monday" is only a few years old, dating back to the 2005 shopping season. The National Retail Foundation's website Shop.org coined the term in 2005 to describe a bump in sales among online retailers as shoppers return to their high-speed Internet connections at work.

However, while nearly 100 million shopppers plan to shop on Cyber Monday, according to the Shop.org survey conducted by BIGresearch, only 13.5% of those shoppers will do so at work. The decline from previous years can be attributed to more widespread availability of broadband at home and on mobile devices.

If you're looking for deals, start with the NRF's own website: CyberMonday.com -- participating retailers are linked and offers featured.

Other great sites to bookmark this CyberMonday: Amazon.com -- the king of online e-tailing makes cyber shopping easy with a Universal Wishlist feature. Link to anything on the web, even if it's not sold on Amazon.com, and those buying gifts for you can find and buy it.

Iterasi.com -- This Portland-based site makes it easy to save shopping receipts and confirmation pages.

Keeping yourself secure online is especially important. While the volume of shoppers increasing, you can bet those seeking to steal your personal information will be working as well. Here, then, some tips:

  1. Use unique, complicated passwords for each account -- don't be lazy!!
  2. Be careful when clicking links, visiting random websites
  3. Keep your security software updated
  4. Save your receipts-- use iterasi.com to save complete webpages
  5. Look for the https -- secure padlock for encrypted sites
  6. Consider your own card-reader: SmartSwipe is dubbed as the "World’s first truly secure personal credit card reader" and transfers your card details directly to online sites


Happy Cyber Monday!

Hear this report, as originally broadcast on Newsradio 750 KXL (MP3).

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