Michiana shoppers switch to online shopping; Police offer safety tips

NOW: Michiana shoppers switch to online shopping; Police offer safety tips


MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- This year’s Cyber Monday sales are expected to top more than $9 billion.

Adobe Analytics predicts total sales to top out around $9.4 billion. If achieved, it would be a new one-day record for online sales. 

This trend comes as fewer people shopped in stores this Black Friday and online sales on Black Friday raked in $7.4 billion. 

RetailNext says traffic at stores decreased by 2.1 percent this year from last Black Friday. 

Shoppers in Michiana list a better selection and convenience as reasons why they prefer doing all or some of their holiday shopping on the web. 

“I can go online,” said Ric Lunley, an Elkhart restident. “I can look at 27 different variations of the same thing and pick out the one I want. In the store, I’m kind of stuck.” 

Dani Troup, another Elkhart homeowner, says it’s easier to shop from the comfort of her own couch for most items. 

“The convenience,” said Troup. “Spend a couple of hours on the couch getting it done and you’re over it.” 

Local police say whether someone shops online or in person, they need to stay safe. 

Lieutenant Tim Williams with the Mishawaka Police Department says MPD usually receives more reports of thefts and robberies during this time of year. 

“Since we are the largest shopping district in northern Indiana, we do see an increase in people, you know, stealing things,” said Williams. 

Williams says each year the department sends out extra patrol officers to heavily shopped areas and works with local businesses on their security plans.

However, he suggests consumers take preventative measures too. 

For people who like to shop at a store, Williams recommends keeping any purchase out of view when its put into the car or designating a driver who can take the items home right after purchase. 

He adds shoppers should shop with a buddy, keep their wallet tucked underneath their arm or on them at all times, and park in well-lit areas. 

Williams says for the online spenders who may not be home when it’s delivered should have their packages delivered to work or a trusted neighbor’s home so porch pirates don’t steal it. 

Consumers should also make sure they’re shopping on a legitimate site and purchase items with a credit card so it can be disputed later on if it’s an incorrect charge. 

“That’s the worst feeling in the world, especially this time of year,” said Williams. “We don’t want that memory to be a bad memory we want it to be a good memory so if we’re proactive and we can actually prevent this, than we’re going to have a more joyful holiday season.” 

If a person does become victim to a robbery or theft, police say to give the criminal what they want then call police. 

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