Black Friday 2017 was big but this year’s Cyber Monday may be even bigger as more and more potential customers are choosing to shop online. That means that retailers will be offering more of the same along with online-only specials.
According to Adobe Analytics, Black Friday sales made on mobile devices accounted for 61% of website visits and 46% of revenue. While the news may have concentrated on rowdy crowds stampeding the big box stores, the reality is that almost half of the money those chains made came from online orders.
The advantages to shopping online are pretty obvious. You don’t have to get dressed, drive to the mall, park, wait for the store to open, search for what you need, fight other customers over the last Doorbuster Deal, drag your cart to the checkout and haul your purchases home. You don’t have to do any of that when you shop online – you don’t even have to get out of bed!
A big advantage of shopping online is the ability to compare prices on the same item very quickly. Another is being able to find which retailer has the item you need in the right size and color. You can comparison shop for big ticket items like a TV by reading reviews, descriptions and specifications so you know what you’re buying and whether you’re getting the best deal.
Add in the ease and convenience of using apps from major retailers and it’s easy to see why more shoppers are opting for going online instead of going to the mall. So are we ready for Cyber Monday?
Amazon was born ready! This online-only retailer has owned Cyber Monday for years while rivals try in vain to catch up. This year Amazon is continuing many of its Black Friday deals, including $20 off the new Echo ($79.99), $50 off the Fire HD 10 tablet ($99.99) and $30 off the Kindle Paperwhite ($89.99). These deals, along with the Fire 7 and the Echo Dot for for $29.99 each, are already online and may hang around for the weekend. Practically all of Amazon’s own Echo, Fire and Kindle devices are discounted for Cyber Monday.
Amazon is teasing a “premium brand 49” 4K smart TV” for $329.99 and a 55” 4K TV of unknown origin for $224.99. Even if you miss those two, there will be major discounts on Sony and LG 4K TVs. Also promised are “up to 60%” savings on select video games including Call of Duty: WWII, Middle Earth: Shadow of War and Injustice 2.
Amazon customers can start their Cyber Monday shopping at 5 pm on Sunday if they have a voice-powered, Alexa enabled device, giving them early access to the 30 Deals of the Day or thousands of Lightning Deals. “Alexa, find me that 55” TV for $224.99.”
Black Friday got off to a shaky start for this retail giant, as its Facebook page was flooded with complaints about both online and in-store sales. Some shoppers claimed to have logged in at 12:01 am on Thanksgiving morning only to find the advertised online specials already sold out. This does not bode well for Cyber Monday when the Walmart website will be expected to handle huge volumes of orders starting again at one minute after midnight.
For those disgruntled customers who failed to score the deals they wanted, Walmart promises to reprise many of those same sale items for Cyber Monday. Deals to watch for include a Samsung 58” 4K TV for $598, a discount of $200, $100 off Bose QuietComfort 25 noise-canceling headphones, now priced at $179, the 500GB Xbox One S for $189, $60 off list price and the 1TB PlayStation 4 Slim for $199, $50 off its usual price.
New for Cyber Monday will be an RCA 55” 4K Roku Smart HDR LED TV for $379, a saving of $420. If this is the same TV Walmart had on sale for Black Friday, this deal is $50 cheaper. Also less pricey on Cyber Monday is the Lenovo ideapad 320 15.6” laptop with Windows 10 for $199, a discount of $70.
No promises, but there are rumors that Walmart will have some major deals on Apple products, like a $300 gift card with purchase of the iPhone X, iPhone 8 or iPhone 8+. There were complaints about a lack of stock on Apple smartphones at some Walmart stores on Black Friday, but at least all online customers will have the same chance to score, provided they act early.
The iPhone 6 on Walmart’s Straight Talk Wireless for $129 is expected to return for Cyber Monday but this is another item that was plagued by complaints of being sold out. Hopefully, Walmart will be laying in a new supply over the weekend. Another Black Friday favorite expected to return is the Apple iPad 32GB Wi-Fi model for $249.99
If you’re looking for heavily-hyped Doorbuster Deals from Walmart on Cyber Monday, stay up late and log in by 12:01 am for the best chance at catching the most elusive items.
Target promises big deals on electronics for Cyber Monday, like $20 gift cards with your purchase of Beats X Bluetooth earphones or Beats EP wired headphones. Another good deal is a 50” Samsung 4K TV for $479.99. The best overall deal from Target is 15% off sitewide which could come in really handy if you’re buying items that aren’t on sale. Target will be continuing the Cyber Monday action through the rest of the week, with 40% off bath and bedding items on Tuesday, cosmetics on sale Wednesday, 30% off family outerwear on Thursday, electronics on sale Friday and 30% off furniture and rugs Saturday.
The Xbox One S console is selling for $189 just about everywhere but Microsoft is sweetening their deal by throwing in a free game and one-month game pass. That’s about $70 worth of extra goodies, and you can choose from 13 of the most popular titles including Assassin’s Creed and Let’s Dance.
While Apple has become notorious for ignoring Black Friday, the tech giant has been known for kicking in a few gift cards on Cyber Monday and that’s just what they’re doing this year. For Cyber Weekend, you can get a $25 gift card with your purchase of select Apple Watches, a $50 gift card with select iPhones, a $100 gift card with select iPads and a $150 card with select Macs.
Some retailers are being sneaky about their Cyber Monday deals, postponing the release of their ads until Black Friday is officially over, so we can expect more news over the weekend. Kohl’s is one major player that has promised an announcement sometime Saturday. Best Buy has revealed that they will offer free shipping on Cyber Monday but we’ll have to wait for more details.
Fortunately, you don’t need to make major plans for Cyber Monday since you don’t have to actually go anywhere!
How to Cyber Monday
Scoring the best deals on Cyber Monday requires a different skill set than braving the crowds on Black Friday. Instead of needing the stamina to stand in long lines, you need the patience to try and try again until you succeed in getting a confirmed order for the item you want. You also need the ability to jump from one website to another, checking for new deals.
Practically every retailer with a website will be having some kind of sale for Cyber Monday so if you have time, check around and see if your favorites are offering special deals. If you don’t find what you want at a price you’re willing to pay, try eBay. This site always has low prices on thousands of items.
The main thing Cyber Monday shoppers have to beware is buying too much because it’s so fast and easy!
Cyber Week is winding down but there are still some smart deals to be had on smartphones. Here are three deals on popular phones that are available right now.
From December 4 through December 8, Best Buy will be offering the ZTE Axon 7 Mini that has a list price of $299 discounted $100 to just $199. That price is for the Axon 7 Mini in Gold while the Platinum Gray model will be $249. This is a great price for an unlocked smartphone that will work with AT&T, T-Mobile and many other GSM/LTE carriers but not Sprint or Verizon.
The ZTE Axon 7 Mini sports a 5.2” 1080p display, fingerprint recognition, 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage and runs Android Marshmallow that will soon be updated to Android Nougat. Buying an unlocked device has become an increasingly popular option with customers since retailers and carriers have stopped offering free phones with a two-year contract. Why not pay up front now instead of being stuck with 24 months of payments?
Verizon is currently offering deals on several phones but the most tempting is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with payments of just $18 per month. The usual monthly payment on this phone is $33 per month so that’s quite a saving. The list price of the S7 Edge is $792 but with this deal, you’d pay only $360.
That’s a sweet deal on a smartphone with a 5.5” curved Quad HD Super AMOLED display, 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage. The Samsung S7 Edge is available in Black Onyx, Silver Titanium, Gold Platinum and Blue Coral. This price is good at Verizon through December 10.
Rival AT&T is offering the Samsung Galaxy S7 for $349.99, less than half the original price of this best-selling smartphone. For that you get a phone with 5.1” Quad HD Super AMOLED display, 4GB RAM and 32GB storage that’s expandable to 256GB. This is definitely a good price for Samsung’s current flagship smartphone.
Walmart, Target and Kohl’s all did quite well over this year’s busiest shopping weekend but the big winner was Amazon with a whopping 30.9% of all sales. Lagging far behind were Best Buy with 7.4%, Target with 4.4% and Walmart with 4.1%. Rounding out the top ten were Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Apple, J. Crew and Home Depot.
Slice Intelligence scanned more than a million shopping receipts from Black Friday through Cyber Monday and revealed some interesting facts about how Cyber Weekend 2016 stacks up against the same period last year. Amazon’s slice of the pie actually fell a bit this year from 31.1% to 30.9% while Best Buy took a healthy jump, from 6.1% to 7.4%. Target stayed about the same while Walmart fell from 5.1% in 2015 to 4.1%.
Some retailers are getting a big chunk of their sales from online shoppers. Data from ComScore shows that Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Kohl’s and Target received the most visits from mobile devices and desktop computers on Cyber Monday, proving that people are doing a lot of their holiday shopping from work. It’s no coincidence that all five have smartphone apps that make it easy to place orders from your phone.
Where there are winners, there are also losers and this year the declining chains Sears, Kmart and JC Penney were again left out. It didn’t help that Kmart’s website was a colossal mess that made it practically impossible to find the alleged sale items. These three may be beyond saving, which is especially ironic for Sears, which got its start in the mail order catalog business.
Amazon won again by delivering thousands of deals in a way that kept shoppers coming back looking for more. Giving Amazon Prime customers early access to Lightning Deals is also a smart move. Making online shopping fast and easy is why Amazon is the runaway leader in online sales with $86.78B for the last fiscal year. Second place went to Apple which lagged far behind with $15.40B and in third place Walmart with $13.78B.
Cyber Week isn’t over at Walmart, where you can find added items, new rollbacks and a second chance to save on the deals you may have missed earlier. Here are some of the best-selling and top-rated toys from Walmart, all on sale for Cyber Week.
Minions 6-Volt Little Quad Electric Battery-Powered Ride-On – $39
This best-selling toy has a list price of $79.00 but is discounted $40 now at Walmart. That’s less than half price for a toy for tots 18-36 months that has received a 4.5 out of 5 rating from buyers.
Pulse Performance Products REVSTER Electric Scooter – $69
Save $20 on this 5-star rated electric scooter for kids 8 and up. This scooter has gotten rave reviews from current owners for safety and battery life. Kids love it because it’s fun and parents love it because it’s easy to assemble.
Furby Connect, Teal – $67.99
This furry little guy comes in several colors and has a list price of $98. Suitable for kids 5 to 7, this toy connects to a tablet app that features music and videos to keep them amused for hours.
Barbie Dreamhouse – $149
Save $27 on this popular toy which has a list price of $176. More than 250 users give the Barbie Dreamhouse a 4.6 rating, saying it provides hours of fun for the little girl who loves all things Barbie.
Alta Quadcopter Wi-Fi RC Drone with FPV LIvestream Camera, Remote Control and 3 Batteries –
This item sold out over Black Friday/Cyber Monday but now it’s back in stock and likely to sell out again soon. Save $65.04 off the list price of $149.99 on a toy recommended for 12 years and up that will probably get swiped by dad for spying on the neighbors. After all, it can fly up to 300 feet overhead and beam videos to your iPhone.
Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Bike – $219
Save $80 on this hot bike that has a list price of $299. This speedy little item comes in three colors including pink and is recommended for ages 13 and over but reviews state that it’s perfect for kids as young as 6. The Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Bike gets a 4.3 rating from over 150 users. Helmet not included, but Walmart has those, too.
Shoppers made this year’s Cyber Monday the biggest ever but there are still some good deals available on electronic items like tablets. Here are a few tabs that can still be had at major discounts and all of them will make great gifts.
For a low price on a well-reviewed tab, Walmart has taken $100.11 off the $179.99 list price for the RCA Galileo Pro 11.5” 32GB Tablet with Keyboard Case, selling it for just $79.88. This tablet boasts an 11.5” touchscreen, 32GB storage and Android 6.0 plus webcams, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
A smaller tablet with an even smaller price is the RCA Voyager 7″ 16GB Tablet now selling for only $34.98 at Walmart, a saving of $25.01 off the list price of$59.99. With a 7” touchscreen, this tiny tab also has 16GB storage, webcams, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and runs Android 6.0. This tablet comes in four colors, making it a great gift for the kids.
Best Buy is selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 list priced at $299.99 for $229.99, a discount of $70. With a 10.1 display, Android 6.0 and 16GB of storage, this is one of the most popular of the standard sized tablets.
Best Buy also has a deal on the larger Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 12-inch 2-in-1 tablet which is discounted $100 to $899.99. This extra-large tab converts to a laptop with the addition of a keyboard (not included). Specs include 12” AMOLED display, Windows 10, 8GB memory and 256GB drive.
If you’re looking for an even bigger tab, Microsoft is offering a $200 discount off the $2,699 price of the Surface Book, bringing the cost down to $2,499. This top-of-the-line laptop/tablet hybrid boasts a long list of features including a 13.5” touchscreen, 16GB RAM and a 256GB solid state drive.
While Amazon’s Cyber Week deals on the Fire tablets have ended, the online giant is still offering 11% off the Kindle Paperwhite Essentials Bundle including the Kindle Paperwhite 6” E-Reader in Black with Special Offers plus an Amazon Leather Cover in Fuchsia and Power Adapter, all for $159.97, a saving of $20.
Next to the thrill of scoring a great deal, the most fun part of Cyber Monday is getting your package. Unfortunately, there’s a special breed of grinch out there ready to ruin your fun. A “Porch Pirate” is a thief that specializes in stealing packages from the homes of unsuspecting people but there are ways to outwit them.
Track your packages
Your order number at the site where you made your purchase should hook you up with a tracking number for Fedex, UPS, etc. Keep up with the whereabouts of all outstanding packages and notice what date and time they will be delivered. If you’re going to be home at that time, watch for your package and bring it inside immediately.
You can inform your delivery service that you would like to be notified when any packages arrive, by phone or message. Try putting a note on your door requesting that delivery people knock or ring the bell rather than just dumping the package on your doorstep.
Bring packages in right away
If you live in a large apartment or condo complex, delivery people may drop off packages by the mailboxes, where some of them sit for days. Check every day for deliveries and bring them inside promptly.
Have it sent to a secure location
If you aren’t sure if you will be home or have had theft problems in the past, have your packages delivered to a secure location like your work or the Fedex/UPS office. A place where you have to sign for the package is almost certain to be safer than your front porch.
Watch out for neighbors
Get to know your neighbors so you can watch out for each other. You can’t all be home 24/7 so everyone will be safer if the whole neighborhood is on the lookout for suspicious activity like an unfamiliar car cruising the street and stopping to snatch packages off porches!
Get video cameras
Have one positioned on your front porch to record any criminal activity. Videos are very helpful to law enforcement when they’re on the trail of a porch pirate.