Leslie Rheel didn't need much persuasion to pull out her iPhone and demonstrate how she'll use it to get the best deals during the holiday season.

As a nurse who will spend most of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the weekend at work, Rheel will rely on her TGI Cyber Monday app, which aggregates deals touted by retailers.

"I won't have time to go to stores, so I'll shop on my phone," said Rheel, a Spring Garden Township resident.

She's part of the handheld revolution that's morphing the seven-year tradition of Cyber Monday into Mobile Monday, according to industry analysts.

This year, mobile shopping will account for 21 percent of online sales -- a 110 percent increase compared to last year, according to Adobe, which tracks online traffic and sales for clients.

The software maker predicts 24 percent of Black Friday sales will be completed on mobile devices.

Those mobile purchases and the longest shopping season since 2007 are some of the reasons why the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to grow 4.1 percent during the 33 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sales will grow from $462 billion in 2011 to $586.1 billion this year, according to a federation report.

An iPad shopper: Jessikah Flowers can be counted among those who will, "sit around in pajama pants and shop on an iPad instead of going to the crowded stores."

The Seven Valleys resident said she has "zero interest" in

worrying about shopping at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night when retailers such as Walmart, Toys R Us and Sears will open.


Target will open at 9 p.m. Thursday, and many others will open a few hours later at midnight.

"There's nothing I want so bad that I'm willing to leave family on Thanksgiving. At least when I'm shopping on my iPad I can be in the same room with them," she said.

But Flowers isn't just using her iPad to shop. She's been using it to make a list, and she often checks it more than twice.

"I've been saving things I see on Pinterest so I can remember what I want to buy," she said.

Pinterest referrals and other social media marketing efforts will double this year, adding a boost to sales, according to the Adobe report.

Starting earlier: What will help sales the most, though, is that Cyber Monday, like Black Friday, is starting earlier this year.

Normally the Monday after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday is starting two days sooner, on Saturday. Walmart is promoting online Cyber Monday deals beginning Saturday and continuing through Dec. 2.

Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl's and Target are among other sellers starting Cyber Monday sales this week.

A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation's digital division determined 97 percent of online retailers will offer discounts during Thanksgiving weekend, before Cyber Monday. That's a 7 percent increase from the 90 percent that offered early online deals last year.

Those sales are expected to cause online revenue to climb 18 percent to $2 billion, according to Adobe, which determined the best holiday deals are typically found online the week before Christmas.

Geoff Howard said he will probably shop online, but he doesn't know when.

"If Cyber Monday and Black Friday aren't really happening on Monday and Friday, why are people calling it that? There's going to be some sale every day between now and Christmas, even after Christmas," the York resident said.

Howard said he's not going to shop on any specific day because he's confident he can find a deal during any of the days leading up to Christmas.

"I wait until the last minute every year, and I always find sales," he said.

-- Candy Woodall can also be reached at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.