Can We Please Kill Off The Cyber Monday Stories?

from the it's-FUD-Wednesday! dept

A year ago, we pointed out that the whole idea of “Cyber Monday” (the Monday after Thanksgiving being a huge online shopping day as people go back to the office) was false, made up by a group of marketers, and the press bought into. They’ve continued that trend this year — even though the Monday after Thanksgiving isn’t even a particularly big online shopping day. However, one report is talking up how sales on this year’s Cyber Monday apparently were 26% higher than last year’s. Of course, that sounds good until you see this other study that points out that more shoppers shopped online on “Black Friday” than on Cyber Monday. On top of that, the whole idea that Cyber Monday represents people shopping from the office is also a myth. The study found that 84% of people shopped online from home, and 25% at work (I’m assuming this means that there was some percentage of people who did both, or someone’s got a problem with their math skills). Either way, it seems clear that the whole concept of Cyber Monday is a myth, with even retailers like Amazon saying they saw no noticeable bump in traffic. So, can we please stop calling it Cyber Monday?

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Comments on “Can We Please Kill Off The Cyber Monday Stories?”

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Mischa says:

I don’t know that I agree with Cyber Monday being false. According to the first report linked to, “It was the first time single-day online sales broke $600 million.” The 2nd study only says that more people shopped online on Black Friday but doesn’t provide any hard numbers. While there may have been more people online, apparently most of them were merely browsing.

John (user link) says:

Many of my clients had lots of sales Monday… but the weekend was a lot busier as well. Overall I’d say the Cyber Monday thing is not as big as it was several years ago simply because most everyone that really uses the internet to any degree, and especially to shop, has broadband at home these days. Before people would wait to go to work to surf at high speed – those days are gone. And retailers also hype things up and even have better deals on their sites, so online sales are picking up overall.

Dave says:

There was a time when “Black Friday” wasn’t a big shopping day either, and someone came up with a marketing idea for it too. So, just because you’re afraid of something new doesn’t mean it can’t be successful. I’m sure there were people who didn’t like the idea that you could go shopping on the Friday of Thanksgiving, but yet it’s the biggest shopping day in the United States. I’m Canadian, I’ve never experienced “Black Friday” (our Thanksgiving is in October). We have Boxing Day, its the day after Xmas. It is the biggest shopping day of the year for Canada, and I’m sure at some point not many people shopped on it either but now it’s a huge deal. So just give it some time and I’m sure “Cyber Monday” will be a big deal for online retailers too.

Ben says:

Black Friday is a myth too

Black Friday is also somewhat of a myth. It is not the busiest shopping day. It actually ranks fifth or lower, behind the days of the two weekends before Christmas. So Black Friday has morphed into a, get this, MARKETING TOOL. It’s just an excuse for sales pitches and significant free advertising mileage on the evening news leading up to, on the day of, and for a day or two following Black Friday.

And your newsrooms that run off their faxes are willing to oblige, even when an event like Cyber Monday is created just for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Of course Black Friday is a marketing tool, because the stores know everyone’s off work, want to kickstart the Christmas season, etc. But they use serious loss leaders to do it.

The concept of “Cyber Monday” is different, because to my knowledge there aren’t any sales. That would imply a legitimate effect, uncoerced by the stores, if it in fact exists.

But why would it exist at all? Are there that many people who have internet access at work but not home? It doesn’t even make sense anymore. Perhaps 5+ years ago, but not now.

birdman says:

What gets me is this: why would online retailers make their customers wait three days before offering deals? Most people who have any day off are going to have Black Friday off. Why would I want to shop on Monday? Even if I’m out fighting the masses on Friday, I’ll do my online shopping that night or Saturday. I’m sure not going to wait until I get to work and break company policy to do it.

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