After Thanksgiving Comes Cyber Monday (What’s the Story?)

What Is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday, a term rooted in e-commerce, is the vibrant Monday following the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend.

It echoes the traditional hype surrounding Black Friday in brick-and-mortar stores, where online retailers roll out exclusive promotions, discounts, and sales, primarily via their websites.

The amalgamation of in-store and online shopping experiences on these days has led to a perceived blending of the once-distinct Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Highlights:

  • Post-Thanksgiving Tradition: Cyber Monday is an annual event occurring on the Monday subsequent to the Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Retail Dominance: This day proudly holds the distinction of being the second-largest shopping day and commands the title for the highest online sales volume.
  • Birth of the Term: The term “Cyber Monday” emerged in 2005 courtesy of Shop.org, the online wing of the National Retail Federation.
  • Global Expansion: Initially originating in the United States, Cyber Monday’s appeal has traversed borders, becoming a widely celebrated shopping phenomenon in several other countries.

Cyber Monday and Black Friday

Thanksgiving sets off the whirlwind of holiday shopping. This season sees the advent of Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving extravaganza touted as the busiest single shopping day of the year.

Yet, standing shoulder to shoulder with this retail frenzy is Cyber Monday, illuminating the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday.

The term “Cyber Monday” was birthed in 2005 by Shop.org, an online extension of the National Retail Federation (NRF). It emerged as a catalyst to prompt consumers towards online shopping.

Data from previous years indicated a surge in online purchases on the Monday after Thanksgiving, prompting this strategic move by the trade association.

From its inception, online retailers have unfailingly unleashed enticing discounts, fostering a digital shopping bonanza for eager consumers.

Brick-and-mortar retailers swiftly embraced the Cyber Monday phenomenon, channeling increased efforts into online sales to rival both their digital and traditional counterparts.

Remarkably, these sales extravaganzas often commence well before the Thanksgiving holiday, marking a shift in the shopping landscape.

For consumers, Cyber Monday emerges as an oasis of convenience and savings. Many prefer to relish time with family during the holiday rather than battling the bustling crowds on Black Friday.

The allure lies in a hassle-free shopping experience brimming with enticing deals. Furthermore, the widespread offering of free shipping serves as an additional enticement, enhancing the appeal of online shopping on Cyber Monday.

What started as a U.S.-centric event has transcended boundaries, evolving into an international concept. E-commerce companies worldwide embrace the term “Cyber Monday,” leveraging it to propel promotions and amplify sales during this festive season.

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Cyber Monday History

Enter the year 2005, and Shop.org, a segment of the National Retail Federation (NRF), planted the seed for Cyber Monday. The idea sprouted from observing consumer behavior post-Thanksgiving.

The surge in online shopping after the holiday weekend intrigued experts, giving rise to various theories.

One notion proposed that individuals browsed through stores and malls during the weekend but postponed purchases until Monday, leveraging their faster office internet connections for swift transactions.

Another theory highlighted the shift from the chaotic scenes of Black Friday to the comfort of Monday mornings. The alternatives? Camping in store parking lots or wading through crowds versus savoring a cup of coffee at home while scouring the web for irresistible deals.

The consumer response was resounding. From a modest $484 million in 2005, Cyber Monday sales soared to an astonishing $11 million by 2022, epitomizing its exponential growth and acceptance.

However, even as Cyber Monday surged, Black Friday retained its crown as the reigning champion of shopping days, known for its frenzy and energy.

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2020 witnessed a significant shift, as Cyber Monday sales surpassed those of Black Friday, a shift predominantly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset.

Cyber Monday Milestones

The christening of Cyber Monday as the official day for discounts and irresistible deals heralded a seismic shift in shopping culture, solidifying its widespread appeal. Here are pivotal moments that mark its remarkable journey:

2005: A modest beginning with sales tallying $484 million. A mere five years later, in 2010, Cyber Monday crossed the monumental $1 billion mark, signifying its rapid ascent in popularity.

2011: A notable milestone was reported by CNBC, marking the amalgamation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday into a unified Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza.

2016: Witnessing a significant paradigm shift, major retailers transitioned from a singular Cyber Monday event to an extended Cyber Week. The notion of a revolving door of deals over several days gained traction, spearheaded by industry giants like Amazon and Kohl’s, extending their sales well into December.

2019: The year 2019 witnessed a staggering leap in Cyber Monday sales, touching a colossal $9.4 billion. Adobe Analytics initially predicted sales around $9.2 billion, but the late-night fervor of online deal-seekers propelled the figures to new heights.

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Cyber Monday and Covid

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 reshaped the landscape of holiday shopping, witnessing a surge in online consumer activity during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Despite Black Friday traditionally reigning as the pinnacle of shopping fervor, the pandemic-induced circumstances saw a substantial shift towards online platforms.

Black Friday’s digital spending surged to an impressive $9 billion, closely shadowed by Cyber Monday, which recorded nearly $10 billion in spending.

The pivot to online shopping was further emphasized by consumer intentions, with a significant 30% expressing plans to partake in Cyber Monday sales, compared to the 24% eyeing Black Friday deals.

The pandemic’s influence on shopping behavior was undeniable. However, as the retail landscape adapted, the subsequent years, 2021 and 2022, saw a return to Black Friday’s dominance, including in online sales.

For 2022, the NRF reported a staggering 87.2 million shoppers partaking in Black Friday, closely followed by 77 million engaging in Cyber Monday shopping. The sales figures reflected this trend, with Cyber Monday raking in $11.3 billion, as per Adobe Analytics.

Looking forward, estimates from the NRF for the 2023 holiday season forecast a sales range between $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion, signaling a 3% to 4% increase that encompasses shopping during Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday Around the World

Originating solely within the United States in 2005, Cyber Monday swiftly evolved into an international marketing phenomenon.

Presently, a staggering 28 countries actively participate in this shopping spectacle, with the United Kingdom boasting the highest awareness at an impressive 89%.

Other nations ranking high in awareness include Germany (86%), Spain (85%), Italy (80%), Netherlands (70%), Sweden (69%), and Denmark (52%).

This global surge in Cyber Monday’s popularity prompted major U.S. retailers to diversify their strategies by constructing e-commerce platforms tailored to the linguistic nuances and preferences of diverse audiences.

This strategic move aims not only to cater to international shoppers but also to establish and foster a loyal customer base across borders. It involves a meticulous analysis of purchasing patterns to comprehend and meet the unique demands of shoppers in different countries.

Beyond Cyber Monday

The fervor of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has sparked the inception of dedicated days targeting specific industries:

  • Small Business Saturday: Introduced in 2010, this day, falling just after Black Friday, encourages consumers to pivot towards supporting local small businesses, steering them away from larger retail chains.
  • Giving Tuesday: Since its introduction in 2012, this day, positioned after Cyber Monday, advocates for charitable donations amid the holiday season. Many corporate giants, including Google, Meta (formerly Facebook), and UNICEF, actively engage by pledging to match donations made by employees and the public.
  • Green Monday: Tracing its roots back to 2007 and championed by eBay, this day, often dubbed the “second Cyber Monday,” spotlights last-minute holiday shopping. Occurring on the second Monday of December, it thrives on the surge in online shopping.
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FAQ

How Much Did US Consumers Spend on Cyber Monday in 2022?

Online sales reached an unprecedented $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday 2022 in the United States, as reported by Adobe Analytics. This staggering figure solidified Cyber Monday 2022 as the largest e-commerce day in history.

How Did COVID Impact In-Person Shopping?

During Cyber Week 2020, brick-and-mortar store sales experienced a significant decline, plummeting nearly 24%. This decline played a pivotal role in driving the surge of online sales during that period.

What Is the Peak Buying Time on Cyber Monday?

According to findings by Adobe Analytics, the peak buying hour on Cyber Monday 2022 occurred between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. During this hour, the buying rate surged to an impressive $12.8 million per minute.

Final Thoughts

Thanksgiving, a revered national holiday in the United States, graces the calendar on the fourth Thursday of November annually. This cherished day is synonymous with family reunions and heartfelt expressions of gratitude.

Yet, amid the warmth of familial gatherings, it also heralds the advent of the holiday shopping season, notably marked by the retail giants – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday, shining brightly on the Monday following Thanksgiving, emerges as a digital haven for consumers seeking enticing discounts and lucrative deals offered by online businesses.

This day serves as a beacon for savvy shoppers to capitalize on profound bargains from the comfort of their screens.

References
  1. Internet Archive, Wayback Machine. “Shop.org Community: ‘Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year
  2. The University of Texas Permian Basin. “Cyber Monday: The History of America’s Largest Shopping Day
  3. Statista. “Desktop e-Commerce Spending in the United States on Cyber Monday From 2005 to 2019
  4. Adobe Analytics. “Adobe: Cyber Monday Drove $11.3 Billion in Online Spending, Breaking E-Commerce Record
  5. PracticalEcommerce. “Sales Report: 2020 Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday
  6. Comscore. “Cyber Monday E-Commerce Sales 2005 – 2010
  7. CNBC. “Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: The Rivalry Is Over, Consumers Won
  8. BlackFriday.com. “When Is Cyber Monday? Your Complete Guide to This Saving Day Is Here
  9. CNBC. “Cyber Monday Online Sales Hit Record $9.4 Billion, Boosted by Late-Night Spending Spree, Adobe Says
  10. Adobe. “Adobe Data Shows Record Cyber Monday With $9.2 Billion in Online Sales
  11. National Retail Federation. “Nearly 180 Million Shop Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend
  12. National Retail Federation. “Record 196.7 Million Consumers Shop Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend
  13. National Retail Federation. “2023 Holiday to Reach Record Spending Levels
  14. Finances Online. “67 Remarkable Cyber Monday Statistics
  15. Small Business Association (SBA). “Small Business Saturday
  16. American Express. “The Story of the Shop Small® Movement
  17. GivingTuesday. “About GivingTuesday
  18. eBay. “It’s so eBay Being Green (Monday)
  19. Adobe. “And Now the Great Revenue Reveal
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