Cyber Monday 2018 could be largest ever

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cyber Monday 2018 is on track to be the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, with online spending expected to reach $7.8 billion.

Half of what's bought online on Cyber Monday is expected to flow through Amazon, which considers the day a pillar of its "Turkey 5," the shopping days from Thanksgiving night to Cyber Monday that herald the holidays.

Last year Amazon sold 83 million items on Cyber Monday - that's 961 items per second worldwide.

"It is the kind of day where people expect to find Amazon's lowest prices of the year and we actually make sure that the lightning deals you find on Cyber Monday are the lowest prices you will find in 365 days," said Julie Law, a spokesperson for the company.

Cyber Monday came into vogue about a dozen years ago as a way to encourage people to shop online from work, using high-speed internet that wasn't widely available at home. Even with Black Friday this year pulling in $6.22 billion, according to Adobe Analytics, the habit cultivated in the early 2000s has endured, especially with toys and electronics.

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"They're $299 today, the noise-canceling wireless headphones from Bose," Law said. "They never go on sale."

And after the success just two days ago of Small Business Saturday, which encourages shoppers to patronize local shops and services, Cyber Monday behemoths are giving a nod to community building as well.

"There are actually 73,000 small businesses in the state of Illinois that sell on Amazon," Law said.

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