SAN FRANCISCO  — Even with ubiquitous smartphones, Cyber Monday still exists. But now add Cyber Friday, Saturday and Sunday to the online shopping tradition.

The first Monday after Thanksgiving is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year for American consumers. Adobe predicts it will pass the $3 billion mark for the first time this year.

Seventy-nine percent of Americans told the National Retail Federation they plan to shop online Cyber Monday, a potential 183.8 million shoppers.

That’s in keeping with a trend that dates to the advent of widespread Internet shopping a decade ago, when consumers with slow dial-up connections at home would use their faster connections at work to buy electronics and other gifts online, and retailers rolled out deals to maximize this surge in interest.

These days, more homes have fast broadband connections, and smartphones have made it possible to shop anywhere, anytime.

That availability hasn’t knocked Cyber Monday from its perch. But it’s extended the online shopping spree to the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.

“It’s retailers’ strongest punch of the year. They’ve really got that weekend to swing at it and move a lot of merchandise,” said Gene Alvarez, chief e-commerce analyst for tech research company Gartner.

The percentage of holiday shopping done online in the U.S. continues to increase. While online sales are about 10% of retail sales overall, they jump to 15% during the months of November and December, says a report by Forrester Research.

However, the once-clear demarcation between online and in-person shopping is morphing into what retailers call “omni channel” sales, in which customers move seamlessly between their computers, their phones and their feet to shop.

“Consumers don’t care about channel. They don’t care whether they’re looking at it on a phone or standing in a store,” said Vicki Cantrell, executive director of the National Retail Federation’s digital retail division.

Some large online retailers are also using the weekend to push shoppers to certain platforms.

Amazon is making some of its best deals available only on its mobile app.

Back in the days of dial-up

Cyber Monday started in the early 2000s. Online shopping existed, but many consumers didn’t have Internet access, or sometimes even computers, at home.

“People had slow, dial-up connections at home. They’d go to work to get a high-speed connection so they could shop,” said Gartner’s Alvarez.

As retailers reported a spike in digital sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving, the National Retail Federation coined the phrase “Cyber Monday” and created a site, cybermonday.com.

“It’s funny how quickly traditions take hold. Here we are talking about something that’s just 10 years old, but the kids in my freshman class can’t imagine a time when it didn’t exist,” said John Talbott, with Indiana University’s Center for Education and Research in Retailing.

Today, Cyber Monday is no longer driven by consumer behavior.

“Cyber Monday has pivoted from the ‘shopping at work’ trend to a promotional opportunity for retailers that gives consumers a chance to save money on their holiday shopping,” said Scot Wingo, executive chairman of ChannelAdvisor, an e-commerce software company.

It’s also become the preferred shopping day for those who don’t want to be up at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. on Black Friday “to fight the crowds and possibly be trampled,” he said. “They’d rather wait for Monday and look for it online.”

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