NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Get ready to shop ‘til you drop without ever getting up from your desk or maybe even leaving your house. It’s Cyber Monday and retailers are trying to entice you to click the “buy” button online.
Cyber Monday shopping is predicted to break records for the 6th year in a row – with shoppers expected to spend as much as $6.6 billion this year.
If last year is any indication, this year will be equally busy for Amazon.com. Representatives with the company say Amazon customers ordered more than 64 million items worldwide on Cyber Monday in 2016.
Spokesperson Allison Leader spent the morning at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Haslet with CBS 11 News. She pointed out the holiday shopping trends this year and some of the hot deals of the day.
“The Echo Show has all of the Alexa functionality that our customers love, plus it has a screen which is really exciting when you’re kicking in the holidays,” Leader said adding, “When your hands are full you can have stuff just showing right up on that screen. It really helps you go about your day.”
Customers can order everything from toothbrushes to toys on Amazon, but of course the latter is expected to fill millions of digital shopping carts. Leader said one popular toy this year offers kids a hands-on experience. “The (littleBits) Droid Inventor Kit is a great way to keep kids interested in science, engineering and tech. It actually comes in a kit, kids can put it together themselves and then they can interact with it,” she said.
A lot of retailers are changing the game on holiday shopping discounts. Some retailers are getting creative. Walmart, for its part, is planning to throw 20,000 holiday “parties” at its stores, add more toy demonstrations and bring in Santa Claus to take selfies with shoppers. Rival Target has added new store brands and more customer service staff. Best Buy is offering free shipping on all online orders during the holiday season and is expanding its same-day delivery service.
E-commerce giant Amazon among others is benefitting from the increase in online holiday shopping. Here in North Texas some small businesses are leveraging the Amazon Marketplace this season to help generate sales.
Luke Hatteberg, owner of Wayfaren a handcrafted keepsake company, said the holiday season is their busiest time of year. “We’ve been preparing for a couple of months. We have a pretty consistent stream of orders [year-round], but on this four-week stretch up until the holidays everything will pretty much quadruple, so we make hundreds of hundreds of orders.”
According to economists, online spending will account for more than 18 percent of all retail sales in 2017, up from 16.7 percent last year. Web-based spending is expected to increase 13 percent on a year-over-year basis.
Analysts also say most Cyber Monday shoppers wait until the last minute to hit the “buy” button — with the peak time for purchases happening between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.