Neighborhood Credit Union

4 Tips to Help You Win Cyber Monday

Published November 15, 2017

By Jordan Ottaway

You’ve heard of Black Friday? Where you camp out on the sidewalk or wake up at 4 a.m. to get the “door-buster special?” I’m sure you know about it and might be making plans to brave the crowds here in a couple weeks.

However, I’m not going to talk about that. Instead, I want to talk about Cyber Monday, Black Friday’s less violent sibling. Since being introduced to the retail world in 2005 by, Cyber Monday has quickly become more popular than Black Friday. I wonder why that is?

It’s no doubt that consumers love the convenience of online shopping with total sales topping out at $6.6 billion in 2016. More than doubling 2015 sales.

So, if you’re planning on not braving the crowds and safely shopping from the comfort of your own home, come along as I give you some tips that will help you win Cyber Monday.

Shop strategically

If you don’t, you’ve already lost. Deals go fast, so you need to know beforehand what you want and where you’re going to get it. Start by browsing online to find promotions that fit your shopping needs. (We’ll talk more about that in a second)

Did you know that different departments give better deals on Cyber Monday than others? Below is data from RetailMeNot showing top discounts by category that can be expected this year. Numbers are based on last year’s data.

Top 10 retail categories by percentage off on Cyber Monday:

  • Designer Clothing: 40%
  • Multi Category: 40%
  • Personal Services: 39%
  • Teen Clothing: 37%
  • Clothing: 35%
  • Accessories: 35%
  • Sports and Fitness: 34%
  • Toys and Kids: 33%
  • Computers and Electronics: 33%
  • Shoes: 33%

Knowing where the deals are can help you map out you online shopping journey so you can get in and check out before you miss out.

Browse social media

Okay, this might not be secret, but it’s always worth mentioning because everybody is on social media these days. That also means your favorite retailers are as well. (But you already knew that because you’re probably following them.) Retailers are going to be where the audience is, so that means you will probably find Cyber Monday promotions on social media before any other platform.

Here’s a little pro tip for you. If you find a promotion on Facebook that you want to keep for later, you can. If a brand you follow posts about a Cyber Monday deal and you want to be able to find it later, you can “save” posts you find that will be archived for easy accessibility.

save Facebook post


On the top right corner of the post you’ll see 3 dots. If you click those dots, a drop down menu will appear and you’ll find the “save post” option. There you can keep track of all your Cyber Monday deals in one place. Easy!

Buy from the official app

I’m on my phone, you’re on your phone, and everyone is on their phones. That also means that some will be shopping, and buying, from their phones this year. Actually, 62 percent of smartphone users have made purchases on their phones in the last 6 months. Now this is more of a security-related tip, but you can’t win Cyber Monday if your card information is stolen.

If you’re planning on buying from your smartphone, it’s a good idea to see if that retailer has its own dedicated mobile app. This is where you need to do your purchasing because those apps are more secure than using Safari or any other mobile browser.

Why? Those apps need more sophisticated attacks meaning a more experienced hacker is needed to attempt to breach that system. Don’t forget to be on a password-protected Wi-Fi network for even more protection.

You can find more card security tips on another one of my posts titled “How You Can Keep Your Cards Safe.”

Watch your shipping costs

Nothing’s worse than finding the item you had your heart set on only to find out that shipping will cost more than the item itself. That doesn’t make for a great deal.

Before you check out, pay attention to what you’ll pay for shipping, handling, and taxes because it’s something sites don’t disclose until the very last moment. Check final prices early and try to see if that retailer is offering free shipping and how those prices measure up to other sites. That’s a sure way to save yourself some money.

Good luck and have fun!