Cyber Monday, the marketing phrase for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, has grown by leaps and bounds in just a dozen years. Last year, online transactions on Cyber Monday reached a record $6.59 billion, up 16.8 percent from 2016. And mobile sales, for the first time, reached $2 billion over a 24-hour period. Those numbers made Cyber Monday the largest online shopping day in U.S. history.
Cyber Monday has become the online equivalent to Black Friday. It provides a way for smaller retail websites to compete with larger chains. And it has greatly increased awareness of online shopping.
Sparking New Trends
The term “Cyber Monday” was created in 2005 by marketing companies in a Shop.org press release in an effort to persuade people to shop online. The goal was to make Cyber Monday one of the biggest online shopping days, not just of the holiday season, but of the entire year. Prior to this promotion, the Monday after Thanksgiving was historically the 12th-biggest day of the year. The good news is it worked, and it has taken off around the world.
In 2005, 77 percent of online retailers said their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The new shopping holiday also sparked a trend to drive serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday. Sales hit $2.65 billion in 2014, with an average order value of $160 per transaction (which is one stat that has fallen in more recent years, with the average order value marked at $128 in 2017).
Changing the Way We Shop
Cyber Monday, and online shopping in general, has grown tremendously as technology has increased, becoming faster and more accessible. In 2017, mobile also had a record day, with smartphones becoming the “de facto device” for on-the-go shopping. More than half of workers say they spend at least some work time doing holiday shopping on the Internet, with 43% shopping online for more than an hour during work.
Mobile shopping was dominant both in the morning and afternoon, although desktop staged a comeback in the evening when people were back home after work. It’s worth noting many employers have cracked down on employees using company time and equipment for non-work-related purposes, with 22% of employees who get fired are canned (at least in part) for using the Internet for non-work related activity, including holiday shopping. Also, 54% of employers block employees from accessing certain websites, especially retail sites such as Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy.
So what will you buy this year during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Last year’s top-selling items for those days included the Nintendo Switch, Hatchimals, L.O.L. Surprise and ride-on cars for kids.