NEW YORK CITY — Open your laptop. Get set. Shop.
Online retailers made Cyber Monday the biggest spending day ever as holiday bargain hunters hit up the Internet for deals Monday.
Coming after a Black Friday that was considered the most successful for years, Cyber Monday — a term introduced in 2005 by Shop.org, the online division of the National Retail Federation — online sales increased 30.3 percent over the same period last year, according to cloud-based analytics findings by IBM.
According to ComScore, a digital analytics company, a record 85 percent of online retailers will offer special promotions.
"Gone are the days when waiting in line for hours is the only way for New Yorkers to get their hands on the biggest Thanksgiving discounts," said Natasha-Rachel Smith, head of communications and PR for TopCashback, an online rebate site.
"The online arena has become a bigger contender in holiday shopping year after year."
With all the frenzy around online shopping, Offers.com, an online deal and coupon site, suggests following certain steps to make the most informed choices and not overspend:
► Plan ahead and research items
► Make a list of items you want to buy on Monday
► Look for online coupons or promo codes to add on savings
► Use free shipping offers whenever possible
► Shop safely, and be sure to shop on familiar websites that have safety controls in place
► And make sure to check your credit card statement closely for unusual charges
Now, for the Deals
Amazon promises deep discounts all day Monday, and even introduced a new app for the holiday, which will let you shop for their "deals from anywhere, even when you're back at work on Cyber Monday."
The National Retailer Federation has also compiled a list of retailers that are offering Cyber Monday deals at a new site, CyberMonday.com, or on its Facebook page, with hourly specials listed throughout the day.
In the city, Lord & Taylor offered an additional 25 percent off goods already discounted from Black Friday. Macy's is offering an extra 15 percent off items with free shipping on orders over $75. Henri Bendel is offering a 30 percent discount on purchases of at least $100 when shoppers use the CYBER12 code.
Best Buy started its Cyber Monday sale early, offering deals on an assortment of electronics and home items plus a free $25 savings code with store pickups on purchases totaling $250 or more.
You Can Still Shop Local on the Internet
Big-box stores aren't the only ones to get into the Cyber Monday act. Small businesses are also starting to offer discounts on their websites, with hopes of finding new customers, boosting end-of-year sales and competing with larger chains.
► At Manor House Soaps in Inwood, Cyber Monday shoppers will receive a 35 percent discount on the all-natural line of products when they enter SheaBaby at the promo code prompt.
► At Your Little Chicken in Upper Manhattan, shoppers save 20 percent off woven wraps and ring sling baby carriers when shopping online.
► Downtown, Friends of the High Line will offer 20 percent off online purchases on the group's web shop, where users can peruse the group's line of High Line apparel designed by Diane von Furstenberg, books, toys, and eco-friendly accessories featuring the High Line logo designed by Paula Scher of Pentagram. Proceeds go towards the park's maintenance and operations.
► Even food purveyor Fairway Market is jumping on the Cyber Monday wagon, offering 10 percent discounts Monday for shoppers who use the promo code FWCYBER10.
If you're not sure whether your favorite store is offering deals, don't forget to check social media for up-to-the-minute deals.
Follow local store's Facebook, Twitter or Google+ accounts for announcements on special sales. Many small business owners said they plan to reward their loyal online customers with special deals throughout the day.