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It's (Bah, Humbug) Cyber Monday!

By November 29, 2010

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Did your Cyber Monday sales fail to live up to expectations? Don't feel bad. A recent article from CNN suggests that, contrary to what most of us assume, Cyber Monday has never been the biggest online sales day of the year.

John D. Sutter reports for CNN that according to Andrew Lipsman, director of industry analysis at comScore, CyberMonday has never been the biggest day of the year for online retail sales, and if you had to choose a particular Monday, it would probably be December 13.

The term was coined by Shop.org, the digital division of the National Retail Federation, which also owns the cybermonday.com domain. Each year the site features "Cyber Monday" promotions from participating retailers. For the past five years, the CyberMonday site has been powered by Cartera Commerce, a provider of multi-channel shopping solutions and merchant-funded rewards programs.

A shop.org  press release dated Nov. 21, 2005, announced "'Cyber Monday' Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year," but if that phrase is coined by Shop.org, what meaning does it have to merchants for the rest of the month? And what about the current trend of Dec. 13 having more of an impact on Ecommerce sales?

Additionally, what about the portion of the proceeds that benefit the Ray M. Greenly Scholarship Fund? According to its website:

Ray's spirit lives on in our Ray M. Greenly Scholarship Fund, which has been established to provide financial support to students pursuing careers in the e-commerce industry. A portion of the proceeds from items purchased through CyberMonday.com help support Ray's scholarship and his memory. As of January 2010, more than $1.3 million has been raised for the scholarship fund.

Maybe it's time for Shop.com to clarify -- or perhaps reposition -- the day, so it doesn't appear to claim to be something that it's not. Why don't they say that on this day, many online merchants have chosen to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity? I think that would be more in line with the original intent of the day, and the spirit of the season.

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