Cyber Monday Finds its Place Amid Lengthening Season
The trend was noticed about 10 years ago. After a long weekend of family, football and feasting, Americans went back to work on the Monday after Thanksgiving….and went online to shop. It might have been that moment of quiet away from the din of the holiday, the opportunity not to get caught by the kids or your spouse while getting their gifts, or simply a reluctance to get back to work, but Cyber Monday was born.
Since 2006, online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving have grown a whopping 340% to $2.68 billion according to research done by Adobe Digital Index. That trend will likely remain upward, even while retailers will place as much as 96 percent of their Black Friday deals online. If you need a Black Friday SEO company check out that link In fact, it doesn’t appear that the increase in online shopping on the rest of the days that precede Cyber Monday have diluted the trend. Adobe cites an 18 percent increase in e-commerce on Thanksgiving Day and a huge 39 percent increase on Black Friday in 2014.
With the average order online decreasing in the past four holiday shopping seasons (2011-2014) by 37.4 percent to ($198 to $124), it also suggests that more of you are placing your trust – and your dollars – on line on Cyber Monday.
Mobile shops early, Social talks but doesn’t walk
While 41.2 percent of all Cyber Monday sales came from mobile devices in 2014 (source: IBM Digital Analytics), it held the largest share of online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Many of these shoppers (coined “omnishoppers”) could also be in stores comparing deals while standing in the aisle.
And despite plenty of talk about where people are shopping, what deals they got and trending topics, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest) played relatively little role in actual conversion in 2014. Only 1.5 percent of online orders came from these platforms.
All eyes were on cyber security, but who’s minding the store?
Obviously, consumers are warming up to this internet shopping thing. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimated online sales in 2014 were $304.9 billion, up 15.4 percent from the previous year. This was in spite of a continued wariness of security, with eight out of ten people (77 percent) responding to an NCC Group “Trust in the Internet” survey, saying they didn’t feel safe shopping online.
Consumers have generally liked browsing online, but buying was done in the brick-and-mortar stores because the perception of the internet was like the Wild West with hackers ready to jump your credit card like stagecoach robbers.
Then came holiday season 2013, where the largest security breach in history befell retail giant Target. However, it was determined weeks after the Black Friday weekend, that shoppers – an estimated 40 million of them – who chose to swipe and pay at the checkout in stores were the victims. Hackers breached Target’s point of sale system, using the data from the cards’ magnetic strips, potentially allowing them to create fraudulent accounts. Even worse, if you had a Target debit card, the PIN data could have allowed them to access customer’s cash through ATM withdrawals.
Those magnetic strips are now gradually being replaced industry-wide with SmartChips, and Target’s point of purchase terminals have all been replaced.
With all things being equal regarding the risk then, why not shop online? Apparently many agreed.
Cyber Monday 2015: What to Expect
Let’s face it, Americans love a bargain and we have no patience. That has meant that Black Friday and Cyber Monday may make good hashtags, but could they be facing extinction with the push for earlier, better deals? Even better have an e-commerce seo company help you out?
According to a white paper from online-only RetailMeNot, by Cyber Monday, nearly half (48 percent) of shoppers are already done with their list (source: Think With Google). The strategy recommends “Attracting shoppers earlier in the month (of November) may secure a retailer as the consumer’s first choice during their discovery and planning phases—and eventually drive them straight to checkout when they’re ready.”
So even though the “early bird” shopper gets going right after Halloween, RetailMeNot suggests that it doesn’t mean Cyber Monday will be a loss. Trends are specific to industries as well, with electronics remaining the big winners over the more traditional selling days around Thanksgiving.
Here’s what’s being predicted:
- More shoppers is good news for retailers. More people are planning to shop in 2015 on Cyber Monday, and 21 percent of millennials say they’re planning on spending more online, according to Nielsen’s Holiday Sales Forecast. With this demographic already online, retailers can use strategies to focus in on them early and often, and entice them with a Cyber Monday sale to seal the deal.
- That ad that popped up for luggage was no coincidence. Cyber Monday shoppers do their homework. This means online research – in fact 83 percent of shoppers reported they do research online versus 64 percent of those who shop Black Friday (source: Aol). If a company has strong re-targeting efforts, they will be able to hone in on their customers well in advance of Cyber Monday. So if you’re in the hunt for a new set of luggage for your kids, you’re likely to get inundated with unsolicited ads along the sidebar that offer great deals on Samsonite.
- Tech is still king. Shoppers can expect great deals on technology, particularly smartwatches, and the proverbial deals on cell phones. Android Pit advises to pay particular attention to devices that are poised for upgrades in particular as targets for the deepest discounts. As it did last year, com is hinting at slashing prices on Cyber Monday on popular electronics as well.
- A week-long Monday. Walmart is extending their offer beyond Monday, promising a Cyber Week of savings. Target stands with them, as does Toys R Us and Macy’s in making Monday last 168 hours. These retailers have made Investopedia’s top seven retailers for Cyber Monday, along with Amazon, Best Buy and JCPenney (really!).
While the trend overall seems to be to stretch the spending season on either side of the Thanksgiving Day weekend, it ultimately comes down to understanding that people love an event. We hate missing out. Millennials in particular are cited with the fear of missing out – FOMO – and they still want to participate in a much talked about event.
Whether it’s witnessing the throngs in the malls, or knowing you will be counted among the millions who participated in Cyber Monday, there will always be an attraction to join the party, no matter how long it may last.