As Black Friday approaches, we can see the warning signs everywhere that signify its return – adverts on the TV, emails filling up our inboxes stuffed with promotions, and the shop windows are already filled with signs promoting their best bargains! But you may have heard the phrase ‘Cyber Monday’ thrown around alongside this – but what does this mean exactly and where has it come from? Well, as retailers made the most of the Black Friday event, the term Cyber Monday came about more than a decade ago in order to encourage people to shop online more, as it wasn’t what it is now back then! It was coined by Ellen Davis and Scott Silverman in 2005 when they named a Shop.org press release using the term to describe one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. In a 2005 study Shop.org and Bizrate did, they claimed that “77% of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions”. 

This day became the Black Friday of the eCommerce world, but now that eCommerce has become as large as it is in today’s world, and with every retailer having their own website to maximise on sales, the lines between the two have been blurred. Promotions now tend to occur across the whole of the weekend or even the surrounding week in order to make the most of the event and the selling period. This time of year is often when most retailers start making a profit for the year and go “into the red”. 

For shoppers, this can be the best opportunity of the year to snap up some bargains from some of their favourite online retailers as prices are slashed. Year-on-year the sales and the money spent has increased as the event becomes bigger and bigger, and last year was no exception. Adobe Digital Insights recorded that last year users spent $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday alone, making it the biggest online shopping day in U.S. eCommerce history. PwC reported that a quarter of all consumers were planning on picking up a deal over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend last year.

This year’s Cyber Monday is on 27th November 2017, and shows no sign of slowing down. As the focus is usually high street stores for Black Friday, Cyber Monday’s aim was to encourage sales online at a time when the eCommerce world wasn’t as big as it is now. As online shopping became more and more popular, the day has now gone stratospheric and online sales have skyrocketed across the entire weekend with online retailers such as Amazon and eBay capitalising on the trend. 

This weekend will be the last time shoppers have to pick up a bargain before the January sales, therefore kickstarting the Christmas shopping period. As soon as consumers’ minds are engaged in Christmas shopping mode, this then kicks off the shopping season for retailers, allowing both sides to win. As the bargains are only on for a selected period of time, this encourages spontaneous purchasing, and as the discounts tend to be more widespread, it creates a sense of “buy it now” amongst shoppers.

This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday show no sign of stopping the year-on-year increase in sales, as retailers have already kicked off their discounts to make the most of the weekend. If you’re an eCommerce retailer, it’s not too late to get involved in the Cyber Monday craze and to get some extra money flowing through this weekend. Read our blog suggesting tips and tricks for the weekend if you need any last minute suggestions!


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