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Cyber Monday: The Last Vestige of Dotcom Hype

Is Cyber Monday the last vestige of dotcom hype?

Cyber Monday, as the first Monday after Thanksgiving is sometimes known, was coined in November 2005 by the National Retail Federation's online division, Shop.org. The way the story was marketed was that consumers headed back to the office, leftover turkey sandwich in hand, and hopped on the boss's high-speed Internet connection and shopped online instead of working.

But the day never was the busiest online shopping day, as has been widely reported. Many times it hasn't even cracked the list of the 10 busiest online shopping days, which tend to be either Mondays or Tuesdays, a week or two before the Dec. 25 holiday.

Consumer Nation Holiday Central Edition
Consumer Nation Holiday Central Edition

But that doesn't mean Cyber Monday hasn't turned into a day of great online deals. Nearly nine in ten retailers, some 87.1 percent, will have a special offers for shoppers to take advantage of today. Although free shipping is popular among shoppers, most retailers are offering specific deals or one-day sales. (To see a round-up of some of these offers, go to Shop.org's CyberMonday.com website.)

Shop.org expects about 96.5 million Americans to shop on Cyber Monday, that's up 85 million from a year ago.

Just don't expect all that shopping to happen in the office. That's another myth. A survey done by BIGResearch suggests that about 13 million, or about 13.5 percent of those who plan to shop on Cyber Monday, will do so from work.

But, with so many people worried about their job security, some suspect the number will be even lower.

So far this holiday season, about $10.57 billion has been spent online, marking a 3 percent increase from the year earlier, according to ComScore.

Shopping online on Black Friday was robust. In fact, with sales of $595 million, it was the second heaviest online spending day to date in 2009, representing an 11 percent increase over Black Friday 2008, ComScore said.

What's more, the early signs are that trend is continuing on Cyber Monday. Although it's still early, it looks like online retailers are seeing a huge increase in traffic and sales that is exceeding expectations, said David Fry, whose e-commerce company operates Web sites for several major retail chains.

What will be this year's busiest online shopping day? Some suspect Dec. 17, the last day shoppers can get free shipping from Amazon.com , with a guaranteed arrival by Christmas, to be this year's busiest day.

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Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com

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