The orgy of holiday shopping has gradually shifted in recent years from brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday to the Internet sales day known as Cyber Monday. A recent consumer survey by Accenture revealed 53 percent of consumers are unlikely to shop on Black Friday yet 69 percent of respondents planned on buying holiday gifts online.
Discounts are the key motivator for most consumers, with free shipping offers leading the way. More than 87 percent of respondents to the Accenture survey said they wouldn't buy without a discount of at least 20 percent and 25 percent required an aggressive discount of 50 percent before entering their payment information.
Those who shop Cyber Monday, however, have likely staked out the territory ahead of time and know where to find the good sales. More important perhaps than scoping out the bargains, however, is knowing how to shop safely
Some tips when you shop on Cyber Monday to be safe and save:
Protect Your Computer
Make sure your computer has the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall. Most software packages will automatically notify you when it's time to update. If you've ignored these reminders, take a moment before you plunge in to implement these changes.
Shop Trustworthy Websites
While you know you can trust Macy's or LL Bean, check for widely recognized "trustmarks" or the BBB seal on less well-known merchant websites to confirm they're valid. Verisign is the most commonly seen trustmark.
Protect Personal Information
Use a Credit Card
While it's easy to overspend when paying with a credit card, plastic also provides security, so use discretion. Federal law allows you to dispute credit card charges if you don’t receive an item. You also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card.
Buy The Right Product
Find out carefully the product to buy, quantity, origin, price. Review your shopping cart and the products you have purchased, and the correct shipping address.
Use Special Discount Codes
When a customer enters a promotion code during the checkout process, the store confirms that all conditions of the promotion are satisfied before validation. If the promotion code offers 20 percent off shopping carts of $200 or more, for instance, the code will not work if the minimum threshold hasn't been met. You can also tailor the requirements to exclude certain brands or products
Depending on your site, you may be able to allow customers to enter multiple promotion codes or limit customers to using only one code. While deciding how many codes a customer is allowed to use is up to you, it's important to ensure the transaction is still profitable for you no matter what combination of codes are used