Americans are all familiar with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the busiest day of the Christmas shopping season for many retailers. Incredible “doorbuster” sales are often held only on that day, and these sales encourage people to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and stand in line for hours just so they can be one of the first in the door when the store opens at 6 am or earlier.
What may be less familiar to many people is Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving that many online stores are encouraging as the first day of the Internet holiday shopping season. Shop.org coined the term “Cyber Monday” in 2005 as a reflection of the growing online sales volume that has happened most years that sales records have been kept for online stores on that particular Monday. Even though not every retailer has adopted this practice, an increasing number of online stores are promoting Cyber Monday and offering huge discounts online just like a person might find in a brick-and-mortar store on Black Friday. Here are a few important facts and myths to keep in mind regarding Cyber Monday.
In 2008, nearly 84 percent of online retailers participated in Cyber Monday promotions. Cyber Monday started small in 2005 with less than 50% participation but the popularity has grown dramatically as seen in that nearly all online retailers now have Cyber Monday promotions.
• Cyber Monday sales have increased by at least 100 million dollars each year since 2005. Every year has seen an increase in the amount of products sold and money made on Cyber Monday since 2005. While these amounts have varied from year to year, no year-over-year increase has been less than 100 million dollars.
• Eighty-five million people made a purchase online on Cyber Monday in 2008. This number of total buyers continues to increase every year on Cyber Monday due to the convenience of shopping online without waiting in line.
• More people visit online stores on Thanksgiving than on Cyber Monday. While they do not always buy, it is historically the case that more shoppers are looking up deals on Thanksgiving to plan their holiday shopping than actually go online on Cyber Monday.
• Brick-and-mortar stores with an online presence see a greater increase in online sales than online-only counterparts. From 2007–2008 at least, the online stores who saw the largest increase in sales volume year over year on Cyber Monday were the online outfits of stores like Best Buy, Sears, and others and not online-only retailers like Overstock.com.
• Cyber Monday is the highest volume online sales day of the year. Many people believe that online stores sell more on Cyber Monday than any other day of the year, but this has not yet proven to be the case as of 2008. Most stores actually sell more in middle December than on Cyber Monday, but industry analysts think that may change in 2009.
• The same in-store specials featured on Black Friday are also available to Cyber Monday shoppers. Online shoppers should not expect to get the same deals offered on Black Friday when they log in on Cyber Monday. Some retailers will offer the exact same deals while others make them available only to brick-and-mortar shoppers.
• It is not as safe to shop on Cyber Monday as it is to shop on Black Friday. Many people believe that it is safer to shop in a traditional brick-and-mortar store on Black Friday than at an online site on Cyber Monday because of the potential identity theft issues. Buyers should know, however, that shopping online at a reputable site with secure encryption is not any more dangerous than shopping in person at a store. In fact, it can be safer.
• Cyber Monday purchases will not get to their destination by Christmas. Some people have been worried to buy on Cyber Monday because they think the items they buy will not have enough time to get to their destination before Christmas. In fact, standard shipping will still get most packages out on time, and there are shipping upgrades if there are any doubts.
• Cyber Monday purchases are not easy to return. Many people also avoid buying on Cyber Monday because they fear their purchases will not be easy to return. This is not the case, but make sure to check out any return policies before purchasing.
Though there may be many facts and myths about Cyber Monday, one thing remains true: Online shopping is a great convenience and potential money saver no matter when it is done. Buyers who are looking for good deals can do worse than to go online on Cyber Monday or any other day of the year.
Every day is Cyber Monday at Glenbrook Hyundai, the Happy Car Store. Visit www.HappyCarStore.com and click on our specials page to see our discounts in parts, service, new and used car sales. Or, better yet, swing in and check us out on Coldwater Road, next to Red Lobster. Call 260-484-9531 or 1-800-Hyundai