Cyber Monday sales this holiday season are expected to reach $1.5 billion, setting a new record as the most lucrative online shopping event of the year, analysts show.
A blog post on Internet analytics company comScore explains that "consumers are showing renewed signs of optimism heading into this year’s shopping season and it’s never too early for online retailers to win a fair share of their spending."
A report from comScore shows Cyber Monday sales in 2011 topped $1.25 billion.
Most major brick and mortar retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, are displaying Cyber Monday deals on their websites. Some retailers, including Amazon -- the largest online retailer -- has specific items with deeper discounts available only today.
Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire, which retails for $159, is $129 today only - a $30 savings.
The Cyber Monday phenomenon started in 2005, when Shop.org, an online retail industry association, coined the marketing term for the Monday following Black Friday, another term created by retailers.
Cyber Monday served as a campaign to push consumers to shop online. At the time, many consumers did not have online access at home, so they tended to shop on the first day of work after the Thanksgiving break.
However, the shopping event surpassed retailers' expectations over the years as more consumers gained access to online services at their homes and online shopping gained confidence among consumers. Also, the advent of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets increased the portals in which shoppers could purchase goods online.
The hype created by media organizations also keeps Cyber Monday in consumers' radars.