Cyber Monday continues to reshape holiday shopping

- Cyber Monday sales are expected to set another record this year. Some estimate shoppers will spend more than $3 billion online. While experts believe the traditional brick-and-mortar retailer isn’t going away anytime soon, it’s clear online competition has reshaped the way people shop.

“Once they started doing free shipping, that did for me,” said Judy Kruschke, a shopper in Edina. “So why, park and go through the snow, and fight through the crowds, when you can just be on your iPad having a cup of coffee?”

“In the last couple of years, I’ve started solely going shopping online,” said Lisa Cragg, a shopper in Edina. “It’s actually become more sophisticated, it’s a lot easier, you can literally do it on your phone, I don’t even have to do it on my computer.”

Amazon expects its 70 fulfillment centers across the country, including the one in Shakopee, to be extremely busy. Last year, customers placed 629 orders a second, and the company expects that number to increase this year.

The company said it is hiring 120,000 seasonal employees to help meet the demand.

Despite that, the annual Holiday Sentiment Survey from the University of St. Thomas shows the growth in online shopping has leveled off lately in the Twin Cities metro. At 39 percent, the survey found online shopping roughly on par with shopping at major shopping centers or downtown districts.

But Jon Seltzer, a Professor of Marketing at St. Thomas, said that doesn't mean the disruption caused by e-commerce will subside.

“I think we're going to continue to see a readjusting if you want of retail space, because it also could be a question of whether you have the right format, in the right area,” said Seltzer.

Stores are now focusing on creating an experience to get shoppers back in their doors, and battle the convenience of online shopping.
 

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