Surfing to Shop

| October 31, 2016 | |

Thanksgiving is the traditional kickoff for holiday gift shopping, and a growing number of consumers will complete their gift lists (if they haven’t already) without ever stepping foot in a brick and mortar store. As online shopping grows in popularity, cable’s high-speed internet plays the role of Santa by helping fill stockings. Learn more.

More Americans each year are finding that holiday shopping is a lot less stressful when they can avoid the crowds at the stores and still get all their gifts purchased and even sent from the comfort of their computer or mobile device.

Fast internet connections are making life easier for shoppers, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping trends in recent years have shown. A recent survey found that 73 percent of respondents plan to shop online this holiday season, and more than 1 in 3 plan to shop on mobile. And 22 percent of shoppers said they don’t plan to set foot in a store at all.

Analysts are predicting a brisk holiday sales season for 2016, with online sales expected to hit $94.71 billion, according to research firm eMarketer. The National Retail Federation predicts that online sales will increase 7-10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion.

And with some retailers announcing they will no longer open on Thanksgiving Day, could online sales climb even higher with Americans looking for a post-turkey shopping diversion?

As holiday shoppers surf the internet, they should take steps to protect themselves and their purchases from scammers, cybercriminals and thieves. The National Cyber Security Alliance has tips to stay safe while shopping online.

In addition, guard your packages when they arrive so they don’t disappear off your or the gift recipient’s doorstep after delivery. Consider security cameras or other home security devices, available from some cable providers. Or have packages held for pickup at the post office or delivered to a workplace, where someone will be present to accept delivery. Find other tips here.

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