Arthur Baynes, 30, was checking out email deals on his smartphone. The travel insurance claims adjuster from Richmond, Va., was looking for a new TV and Blu-Ray games for his younger relatives.
"When I'm looking for something, I'll look it up on my phone and then use the Amazon app on my iPad to buy," he said Monday. "It's just easier. I don't have to sit down where my computer is."
Cyber Monday comes after retailers failed to boost spending during the holiday weekend. They offered big discounts in early November, and several opened stores on Thanksgiving Day. But the NRF predicted that spending fell for the first time, down 2.9 percent to $57.4 billion, during the four days that ended Sunday.
About 81 percent of retailers planned to offer deals specifically for Cyber Monday, according to the NRF's online arm, called Shop.org.
The name Cyber Monday was coined in 2005 by Shop.org to encourage people to shop online. After retailers revved up deals for the day, it became the busiest online shopping day in 2010.
But since then, retailers have expanded deals, stretching them into Cyber Week or even Cyber Month. This year, retailers such as Amazon and Wal-Mart rolled out online deals beginning in November.
Belus Capital management analyst Brian Sozzi said that will probably become typical of the start of the holiday shopping season.
"The consumer has become immune to Cyber Monday and Cyber Week," he said. "They just want the discounts continually once the calendar hits November."