Although many of her friends have already wrapped up their Christmas shopping, Beverly resident Sasha Murphy says she's not stressed because she has a computer and Internet connection.
"There's no traffic, there's no crowds and I'll usually find better deals," said Murphy, 29, a mother of three. "And if someone is sold out of something, I can always find it somewhere else without wasting time."
The Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally the busiest shopping weekend of the year, but as people return home or to work, Internet sales begin to heat up. About one-in-six Americans are expected to do some online holiday shopping this year, according to the Associated Press.
Today, known as "Cyber Monday," has become the busiest day for shopping. About 10 percent of all holiday sales last year was conducted online, according to the Associated Press.
Many traditional brick-and-mortar stores, like Sears, Target, Kmart and even Wal-mart have websites and special "Internet only" sales. Similar to Black Friday sales, many online retailers, especially those businesses that are exclusively Web-based, offer even bigger discounts today to gain attention and drive sales.
This year's sales seem to focus on deeply discounted electronics, like TVs and netbooks, but also more practical items such as appliances and home decor.
"You can find anything and everything online," Murphy said. "And because I don't have the kids tagging along with me, everything can stay a surprise."
Many holiday shoppers were not waiting for Cyber Monday to get their cyber spending done. Web-based merchants saw a 16 percent spike in revenue already this holiday shopping season, according to data released Saturday by Web research company Coremetrics.
That increase came partly from shoppers who spent more per online purchase during the traditional opening day of the holiday shopping season, according to Coremetrics. The average order rose to $190.80. That's a 12 percent increase over $170.19 on the same day last year.
The solid increase adds to a 33 percent online spending spike on Thanksgiving day, and signs of bigger-than-expected crowds in stores.
The Associated Press contributed.