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Cyber Monday sales expected to total $3.3 billion

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Millions of Americans paused during the Monday after Thanksgiving to check out online deals and check off people on their holiday gift list. But so-called Cyber Monday may be in danger of losing its online sales title.

Shoppers spent $540 million between midnight and 10 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, affirming that sales are expected to total $3.36 billion, up 9.4 percent from a year ago, according to an early tally by Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks online retail transactions.

The Better Business Bureau said in 2015, online shoppers spent more nearly $3 billion during Cyber Monday and visited more than 4,500 retail websites.

Retailers rolled out more sales on Monday: Amazon offered $40 off the normally $180 Echo smart speaker and 60 percent off a KitchenAid stand mixer, at $220 down from $550. Walmart offered $100 off a regularly priced $300 Power Wheels Disney Frozen Jeep Wrangler motorized toy car. And Target offered an extra 15 percent on Sunday and Monday - both online and in stores. It offered a deal on a Samsung 43 inch flat panel TV for $200 off its regular price of $600, plus a $50 giftcard with purchase.

"The deals are better today than Friday, for sure," said Michelle Chernicoff in Largo, Florida, who picked up an Eye Brush Set half off its regular price of $25 at Ulta.com for a gift for her sister. But she said she shops online throughout the holiday season for the convenience more than the one-day-only deals.

"I'm looking for at least 30 percent off on higher end items I'm purchasing for my family," she said. "I have a huge family; shopping the deals between Black Friday and Cyber Monday give me the opportunity to buy better quality items while keeping a budget."

Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving, has been the busiest day of the year for online shopping since 2010. The phrase was coined in 2005 to encourage online buying when people returned to offices where they had high-speed internet connections.

Overall, the National Retail Federation trade group is forecasting holiday sales for the November and December period to rise 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion, better than the 3 percent growth seen in the year-ago period.