Going Shopping on Cyber Monday

For several years, more and more people have flocked to the mall on the day after Thanksgiving.  Long known as Black Friday this particular day got its name because it is the day when many retailers go from being in the red to being in the black in a financial sense.  This underlies the importance of the holiday shopping season to retailers.  Black Friday is also a day of deeply discounted items which typically lure shoppers out of their home in the middle of the night.  Now, however, there is another way to get some great deals and get all your Christmas shopping done.  Cyber Monday has become almost as big as Black Friday thanks to the internet.

Cyber Monday is the first Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, this day would not exist if it weren’t for the fact that the internet has become what it is today.  This allows for more people to shop from the comfort of their own home without having to brave the cold, crowds and the mall and simply purchase items with the click of a mouse.  In addition, as more and more retailers have caught on, there are now deals which rival those found in stores and you can get other perks such as free shipping and certain dollar amounts off when you spend a certain amount of money.

The term Cyber Monday was invented by Shop.org and was first used during the 2005 holiday shopping season.  The termed was invented because online retailers were noticing a huge spike in sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving.  In fact, in 2004, retailers noticed a 78% increase in sales on that one day.  Even the New York Times reported that millions of Americans were still on a shopping high when they returned to work on Monday and with a connection to the internet then went online to purchase what they wanted and liked.

Since then, Cyber Monday has continued to see sales increase each year and this year is expected to be no different.  In 2010, there was a 16% increase in sales from the year before and this year saw consumers spend more than one billion dollars online on that one day alone.  This is up from one of the first years that we saw a true Cyber Monday in 2006 when sales were about $ 610 million.

It has been noted that most of these sales come from people who are at work.  With a lot of shopping left in front of them, many people take advantage of the opportunity to purchase items away from the prying eyes of other family members.

Cyber Monday is not only an American tradition, but an international one as well. In fact, an estimated 80% of Canadians take advantage of Cyber Monday sales as do those in the United Kingdom and Europe.  Even shops in New Zealand participate.

It is estimated that more than 600 retailers offer discounts on Cyber Monday and without the internet we would be fighting more crowds and paying more for our holiday gifts.