Cyber Monday: Today could be the biggest online shopping day ever

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Ten years ago, Cyber Monday wasn't a thing.

Seeing a spike in online sales after the Thanksgiving weekend, the National Retail Federation wanted to capitalize, Tech Times explains – and in 2005, came out with the Cyber Monday moniker to serve as a Thanksgiving weekend bookend with Black Friday.

A decade later, the term is still here, and the buying is bigger than ever.

More than 121 million people plan to shop online today, the National Retail Federation found in a survey. As a comparison, the federation said an estimated 151 million people shopped on Black Friday this year (either in-store or online).

The chariman emeritus of comScore – an Internet tech company that measures user behavior – says he expects about $2.5 billion to be spent by people shopping on desktop computers today. He's also said total sales from any device could pass the $3 billion mark for Cyber Monday.

If that comes true – and an Adobe analysis predicted the same last month – it would be the largest digital sales day in history, CNBC says. In 2012, Cyber Monday sales didn't quite reach $2 billion, according to the news outlet.

Across Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year, Adobe recorded an estimated $4.45 billion in online sales. About one-third of that came from a phone or tablet.

Overall in-store retail sales came in at $10.4 billion for Black Friday this year, The Associated Press said – that's down from $11.6 billion last year, a sign that more shopping is happening online.

(An interesting counter to all this: FiveThirtyEight says all of these preliminary statistics about Black Friday sales are often inaccurate. So keep that in mind.)

Target has some early site issues

With Cyber Monday sales growing, businesses naturally want to take advantage, including a couple of Minnesota-based retail giants.

Target is giving 15 percent off all orders, all day, plus has (figurative) doorbusters. The bullseye was happy with its Thanksgiving/Black Friday performance, saying items like the Wii U console, iPads, and a $10 3-foot stuffed teddy bear led to a strong start.

For a brief period Monday morning Target's website had apparently crashed, with customers trying to log on greeted by this message about "high traffic" problems.

 (Photo: Target.com)

(Photo: Target.com)

Things seemed to normalize at about 10 a.m.

There are also apparently digital "lines" for some items, which this Twitter user captured an image of.

Best Buy has a list of deals, offering up to 50 percent off some electronics both online and in-store.

As the New York Times reports, while there were more mobile shoppers than in-store customers over the weekend, spending at brick-and-mortar locations still "dwarfed" Web sales. The Times also says Black Friday as a one-off holiday sales boost is eroding – deals are being offered for longer periods and on more days throughout the season and year now.

WalletHub put together its own analysis and list of the best and worst retailers for Cyber Monday, trying to find who had the largest markdowns. The site even broke it down by category – here's a (long) infographic they put together.

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