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Smartphone use jumps on Cyber Monday

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 27. 2017 9:21PM
People could order online and then pick up items at Best Buy in the Mall of New Hampshire on Monday during Cyber Monday. William Johnson of Auburn got a small, flat-screen TV. (Allegra Boverman/Union Leader)

Gabe Leon, left, had the help of Matthew Nevious to carry a large flat- screen TV he ordered online and picked up at Best Buy in Manchester. (Allegra Boverman/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — Gabe Leon skipped the store crowds on Black Friday, ordering a 55-inch 4K television online at a good price and picking it up at the store on Cyber Monday.

“We’re not about camping out,” the Derry resident said inside Best Buy at the Mall of New Hampshire. “It negates the deal.”

Derry resident Tina Jessie used her phone Monday to order an iPhone for her granddaughter, then came to Best Buy to collect it. “Better than traveling from store to store or calling the store and getting them to answer,” said Jessie.

Cyber Monday was on track to become the biggest-ever internet shopping day in the U.S. as shoppers snapped up bargains on toys and electronics, with many more Americans shopping on their phones.

Adobe Analytics, a leading collector of e-commerce data, said Cyber Monday is expected to generate $6.6 billion in sales, up from $5.6 billion a year ago. As of 4:30 p.m., sales were up 16.8 percent. Revenue from smartphones jumped 41 percent over last year, Adobe said earlier in the day.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday, when shoppers spent $7.9 billion and bought more on their mobile devices than last year, had also generated record online sales. That brightened the overall outlook for traditional retailers that have expanded beyond brick-and-mortar outlets into e-commerce.

Email boxes overflowed with Monday deals.

The SNHU Arena in Manchester offered 25 percent off tickets for the Harlem Globetrotters on March 30 and the “Official Trump Store” promised 30 percent off.

Others who wanted to avoid stores altogether could just ship straight to their homes.

Herrington Catalog, headquartered in Manchester, offered cyber deals with “new items added hourly.” The price for an eight-piece Zwilling J.A. Henckels steak knife set was slashed 69 percent from $160 to $49.95.

Littleton Coin offered 15 percent off sitewide while in Exeter pushed a 20 percent discount.

Not everybody was participating.

The Palace Theatre in Manchester didn’t offer any Cyber Monday deals this year because it didn’t want patrons to get “in the habit” of expecting deals around Thanksgiving, according to David Rousseau, director of sales and marketing.

Last year, it offered a buy-one-get-one ticket deal to one of five tribute bands.

“Sold 300 and gave 300 away,” he said.

The theater couldn’t track whether those jumping on the Cyber Monday deals were new or existing customers. “If we could identify them as new patrons, it would definitely be a win,” Rousseau said.

Online order snafus occasionally cropped up.

William Johnson of Auburn tried to order a 22-inch television on his iPad Monday, but he ended up coming into Best Buy, where an employee searched the store inventory and told him, “I’ll bring it right up.”

Jack Toscano, general manager of the Mall of New Hampshire, said Thanksgiving through Saturday “definitely felt it was busier than last year.”

Shoppers, whether at the mall or on the move, are using their smartphones to compare prices online versus those found at brick-and-mortar stores.

“People want to be assured they are getting a real good deal,” Toscano said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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