Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the beginning of the Christmas and shopping season, and has given birth to a new crazed shopping trend coined Cyber Monday. In the United States, shoppers rush to brick-and-mortar stores to find the latest “hot” items on sale at deep discounts on Black Friday. Cyber Monday works the same principle, except that it occurs online following the Monday after Thanksgiving. In 2005, Shop.org coined the term “Cyber Monday” after analyzing increased Internet traffic and sales on the first day that most people return to work after the holiday weekend.
Although Cyber Monday lacks the popularity of the infamous Black Friday shopping spree, evidence indicates an upsurge in online purchases on the day following Thanksgiving weekend. Many attribute this upward swing based on the fact that the same stores extend their deep discounts to online consumers beyond Black Friday. Analysts suggest that this trend continues to grow along with the percent of households signing up for a broadband connection. In fact, roughly 2/3 of households have a broadband connection in the United States. Despite this fact, a large percentage of online shoppers make purchases from workplace computers on Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday does not always yield the biggest profits. In fact, it usually happens on a Monday later on in December, mainly because online shoppers have to wait to receive their purchase at least one week in advance in order to have their package arrive by Christmas. Since its inception, online consumers have started to spread the word about Cyber Monday. Between 2006 and 2011, online sales doubled to over 1.2 billion dollars on Cyber Monday. The success of Cyber Monday has made itself known in other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and others European countries, so much that they have started offering deals on this day to capitalize on the trend.
Many online retailers have taken advantage of this upsurge in consumer spending by offering discounts, incentives, savings options, and free shipping. Shop.org originally coined “Cyber Monday” as a marketing term to promote business on an already busy day. Online retail stores have not limited their sales and discounts only for Cyber Monday; however, they certainly have started to capitalize on its popularity by marketing early in the season. While Cyber Monday offers unbeatable discounts, online retailers will still promote sales throughout the holiday season.
Online retailers promote Cyber Monday using a variety of Internet marketing strategies, including smart phone advertisements. Comparison shoppers with smart phones connected to the Internet can easily find the hottest deals with the press of a button. Many online retailers have apps that allow smart phone users to look up products in their store. As a result, the buyer has an opportunity to explore other online stores for steeper bargains. In addition, this breeds fierce competition that grants online shoppers discounts not found in brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday.
The Internet serves as more than a sales channel. In fact, many consumers use the Internet to research products before they go out to buy them at brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, major retailers have established an online presence simply as a marketing tool for in-store bargains. The same concept applies on Cyber Monday for online shoppers who simply want to peruse catalogs in hopes of purchasing items later. In-store consumers may also seek out deals for items that they could not purchase on Black Friday. Other consumers may want to look and feel the product upfront before they purchase on the Internet on Cyber Monday. Many retailers promote online sales in their brick-and-mortar stores, and in-store sales on their business websites. Retailers have sent email coupons to promote online and in-store deals through newsletters. Email coupons contain special codes redeemable at the time of purchase. Retailers may also use QR codes for online shoppers to use while shopping in their brick-and-mortar stores.
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