Cyber Monday deals lure shoppers on the job

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by JESSICA VESS and Photojournalist JOHN FISHER

KVUE News Austin

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM

AUSTIN -- Cash registers and crowds are giving way to keyboards and monitors. Millions are expected to fill virtual shopping carts on Monday, swapping Black Friday for Cyber Monday.

“On Cyber Monday we tend to see deeper discounts. Deeper discounts are anything 40 percent or above. If you see anything 40 percent and above, take it. It's a good deal,” said Kristen Nelson, spokesperson at retailmenot.com. The website features coupon codes for retailers.

On Cyber Monday users can find discounts on top of the deals already being offered.

“You're going to see a lot of free shipping offers. You're going to see a lot of the deep discounts, the 40 percent and above and also free products. So, maybe a free gift at checkout? Things like that,” explained Nelson.

Eight in 10 retailers say they will offer specials on Cyber Monday. For most the shopping kicks off at midnight, but e-retailers such as Amazon.com are already offering deals.

On Monday, the specials ramp up. Amazon is offering “Lightning Deals.” Those are extreme sales that change out every 10 minutes. According to a retailmenot.com survey, nearly one in four shoppers will take advantage.

“I like a deal. Doesn't everybody?” said online shopper, Karen Cortes.

Many admit they'll sneak in shopping time even if it's on the job.

“Hmmm...maybe once, you know,” chuckled online shopper Mark Szyman.

According to the survey, about 86 percent plan to spend at least some time shopping or browsing online while they're at work. Twenty-five percent will spend four hours or more filling up those carts.

“Well sure I have,” said Cortes. “This is the time of year. [With] all the sales, everything is on sale, it's a good time to buy.”

Some shoppers go into stealth mode, keeping their desk top open so they can keep up with work, while using a mobile device to shop online. It doesn't always work. About 21 percent have been caught shopping on the job, and companies take a big hit.

“For every shopper who's spending about an hour or more shopping online on Cyber Monday, that amounts to $2.5 billion in lost productivity for employers,” Nelson said.

She suggests timing online shopping around lunch breaks.

Those who miss out on Cyber Monday will still have time to take advantage of sales. In an effort to keep up with stores, many e-retailers will continue offering deep discounts through the week.

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