Cyber Monday offers shoppers incentives

By Nancy Pierce

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It’s been a classic battle in the holiday shopping season between venturing into the madness of a store or the simple yet sometimes more costly venture of an online website.

Courtesy Gustavo Pimenta/Flickr

For some students of the University of Massachusetts and local residents, online shopping has taken a back seat, as shopping in stores has become favorite among students.

One student, sophomore Molly Almeida, will be heading into the stores for holiday shopping this year. She said she prefers going into stores for the visual effect, like seeing clothes and trying them on.

“I like to see it in person, it’s not just a picture online,” she said about items in stores.

Almeida also noted she enjoys the experience of walking around in stores and browsing through items, opposed to online shopping.

Like Almeida, junior Laura Espinosa said she will do her holiday shopping in stores as well. She said she typically hits the stores when she doesn’t know specifically what she’s shopping for, as opposed to when she shops online, she knows exactly what she’s searching. Espinosa also said when she shops in stores she’s usually with another person who can offer their opinion. She said in stores sales signs are highly visible, whereas online, they don’t always advertise sales.

Part of this advertising includes putting items up in a window for all to gaze at, something which sophomore Loren Couse prefers. He said he enjoys window shopping and listening to the Christmas music and that online holiday shopping takes away from the holiday experience.

Holiday cheer is ever prevalent in stores this time of year, allowing normally strangers to engage in spreading the magic of the holidays. For Cathie Rubeck, an employee of Amherst College, this has pushed her in favor of store shopping. She said she likes the experience of socializing and being interactive with people physically in front of her rather than on the Internet.

Being physically in the store allows one to use all their sense when shopping, something that Judy Rose, a clerk at UMass, said she enjoys. She noted that online shopping offers tremendous security and credit card risk.

But while online shopping might offer security risks, UMass senior Merelyn Fernandez noted that she avoids the “overall annoyance of having to go to the mall” by shopping online. She also said she enjoys the ability to compare prices across multiple platforms by shopping online.

Shopping online is also the main choice for freshman Anita Patel, junior Eva Saltus and South Deerfield resident Nanci Schwartz.

However, the aforementioned supporters of online shopping noted that one vice they have with the new form of shopping is the taxes and additional shipping fees.

But despite these vices that students and residents both have with shopping online, national numbers seem to tell the contrary as this year’s Cyber Monday attracted a record number of online shoppers, eager to get their shopping done online rather than waiting in lines on Black Friday.

More than 122 million Americans planned to shop on Cyber Monday this year up from 106.9 million who shopped on Cyber Monday last year, according to a shop.org survey.

Nancy Pierce can be reached at [email protected]