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Cyber Monday

What Is Cyber Monday?

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Cyber Monday is like the Super Bowl for ecommerce. It is the Monday after Thanksgiving. More specifically it is the Monday after Black Friday. But now I am throwing a lot of terminology at you. So let me elucidate.

In the United States, the fourth Thursday of November is Thanksgiving. The day after that is called "Black Friday," and it marks the first day of Christmas shopping. The term, Black Friday, came into existence in the 1960s and there are various explanations for its origin.

Why Do Sales Spike on Cyber Monday?
In 2005, it was noticed that the Monday following Black Friday demonstrated a spike in online shopping. The rationale for this behavior is that people were coming back to their computers after a long weekend, possibly a four-day weekend, and purchasing goods for the oncoming Holiday season.

How Does Cyber Monday Impact Ecommerce Sales Volume?
Some reports suggest that Cyber Monday registers the highest online sales in the year. Others suggest that the impact might not be all that much. Whatever the case, Cyber Monday has turned out to be a truth that ecommerce players have recognized, and adapted to.

How Do Ecommerce Businesses Respond to Cyber Monday?
As is always the case, ecommerce merchants want to corner a significant share of sales volume spikes. So Cyber Monday has become a day of discounts and promotions. As a result, several shoppers put their shopping plans on hold in the run up to Cyber Monday, as they feel confident of securing steep discounts. So it would not be incorrect to infer that the sales spike on Cyber Monday has now become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Is Cyber Monday a US-Only Phenomenon?
One would think so, right? Especially given that Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November primarily in the United States. But ecommerce has globalized shopping. As a result, merchants all over the world run the risk of their customer's shopping dollars funneling to US ecommerce sites. So ecommerce merchants offer Cyber Monday discounts even in countries where Thanksgiving is not widely observed. What started as a US-only phenomenon is rapidly spreading to other parts of the world.

Who Shops on Cyber Monday?
It is interesting to note that Cyber Monday shoppers consist of a large proportion of people accessing computers from work. This further fuels the theory that Cyber Monday is a result of people accessing their computers after a long weekend. Quite likely they have faster Internet access at work, than at home. The pent up demand over the long weekend, coupled with the onset of Holiday shopping, is assisted by the presence of high speed Internet at office.

When Is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday 2011 is on November 28
Cyber Monday 2012 is on November 26
Cyber Monday 2013 is on December 2
Cyber Monday 2014 is on December 1
Cyber Monday 2015 is on November 30.

How Much do People Spend on Cyber Monday?
We seem to have irreversibly crossed the billion dollar mark in US online purchases on Cyber Monday. This figure does not include travel spending, such as purchase of air tickets.

What Can You Do to Push Sales on Cyber Monday?
This is one for the pundits. Different ecommerce merchants have found that different promotions work for them. For instance, some believe that limited edition flash sales keep customers returning all through the day on Cyber Monday, and this helps increase volumes. Others like to announce Cyber Monday deals a week in advance, so that people can plan their purchases at their preferred stores.

Regardless of the strategy, it is clear that Cyber Monday is a phenomenon that is here to stay. Ecommerce professionals the world over, primarily in the United States, need to stock up their marketing arsenal to make the most of this fateful day.

If you want to learn about ecommerce marketing strategies, make sure to visit the Marketing Category of this GuideSite.

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