Despite popularity, not everyone’s sold on Cyber Monday
posted by: Guest Blogger
Today is supposedly the day when retailers offer their best online deals, with office workers feverishly snatching them up in between spreadsheet reviews and PowerPoint presentations.
In 2010, the Monday after Thanksgiving ranked for the first time as the biggest online shopping day of the year, according to market research firm comScore, lending credence to the belief that Cyber Monday is the Internet equivalent of Black Friday.
“I’m a big fan of the online deals during this time of year. No Black Friday crowds,” said Falcon resident Al Malchow via Twitter. “I’ll scour the nets extra hard on Monday (today).”
But not everyone is sold on Cyber Monday, a term coined in 2005 by Shop.org, the digital division of the industry trade association National Retail Federation.
“Cyber Monday is basically a sham. It’s a publicity stunt,” said Michael Brim, founder of BFAds.net, which tracks holiday sales. “It’s gotten significantly better, but has it eclipsed Black Friday? Not at all. I wouldn’t even say it’s in the same ballpark as Black Friday.”
During the first three years of Cyber Monday, it wasn’t even near the top of the rankings for online sales, coming in eighth, ninth and 12th, said Andrew Lipsman, comScore’s vice president of industry analysis.
He said media coverage and retailers resorting to significant discounting after the 2008 financial crisis might have helped push last year’s Cyber Monday to the top of the sales chart with more than $1 billion spent online.
“For Cyber Monday 2011, I think we will see another big spending day that will fall within the top 3 days of the year,” Lipsman wrote in a blog post last week, adding that “several of the days later in the season will contend with Cyber Monday.”
Retailers are extending deals beyond Cyber Monday to Cyber Week, another factor that could drive down today’s sales. Walmart, for example, plans to offer more than 250 online-only specials through Friday. One of the top deals is a 32-inch Toshiba LCD HDTV for $249.
Nearly 60 percent of workers with Internet access, or 75.9 million people, will shop for holiday gifts from the office this year, according to a survey commissioned by Shop.org. The organization said more than 800 companies will showcase hourly sales at CyberMonday.com, similar to Amazon.com’s time-sensitive Lightning Deals.
“I’ve saved up my orders and will do it all at once Monday,” said Denver resident Lara Day via Facebook.
Online spending in November and December is expected to increase 15 percent this year compared with the same period last year, according to comScore.
For the best deals today, visit online-only retailers such as Newegg.com, said Brim, founder of BFAds.net.
“Since they’re an online retailer, they embrace it a little more than brick-and-mortar stores do,” he said.
As an early tip for next year, Brim said, the best day for online deals is actually Black Friday.
“If I’m going to shop one day online, including Cyber Monday, I would definitely shop for the online Black Friday sales, which are generally a little bit more impressive than the Cyber Monday sales because there’s a lot of spillover from the in-store ads,” he said.