Record-setting Cyber Monday expected

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Spending Monday morning already reached $840 million in sales, up 17 percent compared to a year ago. (KGO-TV)

If your smartphone or tablet is running low on battery power, you could be one of the millions of Americans shopping online on this Cyber Monday.

Spending Monday morning already reached $840 million in sales, up 17 percent compared to a year ago. Mobile transactions already have set a record, encompassing 53 percent of all traffic to web retailers. Almost 45 percent of mobile shopping is being done on smartphones and 9 percent on tablets.

Adobe Analytics is projecting Cyber Monday 2017 could be the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever.

FULL LIST: Cyber Monday shopping guide

ABC7 News has been talking to consumer psychologists and online retail experts. They say the health of the economy with low unemployment and a soaring stock market is behind strong consumer confidence to spend money. They also believe e-tailers are providing consumers with the hot products they want at good discounts.

Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and professsor emeritus at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, says her research with consumers indicates many of them are snapping up all the good deals they see with plans to return the items they ultimately will decide not to give as holiday gifts. They're concerned about web retailers running out of the most in-demand merchandise. Liberal return policies also make it easy for consumers to return their unwanted purchases.

RELATED: Amazon expects record breaking sales for Cyber Monday

Some online retailers are also deploying a new strategy this year, according to Prof. Kirthi Kalyanam at Santa Clara University's Lucas School of Business. He singled out Walmart.com and BestBuy.com for offering the lowest prices for some items available only in-store. That will help their traditional brick and mortar stores compete with online shopping. Once a shopper is in a mall or big box store, Kalyanam says the consumer is very likely to buy other merchandise.

With so much shopping being done online Monday, there is always concern about cyber criminals preying on consumers with bogus websites to collect credit card data. Kalyanam believes consumers are more sophisticated these days about spotting sites that may be phishing. We spoke to students at Santa Clara University, who say they have ad blocking software and are mindful about safeguarding their personal information. A misspelled URL or an unsecured payment page without the https:// are warning signs.
Laura Morgan says she has found many good deals online.

Watch David Louie's full report on ABC7 News at 5 pm. and 6 p.m.

Click here for more videos and stories about Cyber Monday.

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