We recently celebrated two of the busiest shopping days of the year here in the U.S., Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) where millions of people flock to stores to find great deals, and Cyber Monday where millions of shoppers find amazing prices online.
IBM stated that sales on Cyber Monday we’re up “30.3% from 2011, making it the biggest online shopping day ever.” But despite all of the record-breaking sales achievements, Richard Hof a Forbes.com columnist has said “Sorry, Retailers – Cyber Monday’s Days Are Numbered.”
While I think Robert certainly had some valid points, I fundamentally disagree that Cyber Monday is in jeopardy – and it’s not just because of the back-to-back years of record breaking sales achievements.
Let’s examine two of the main points in the article:
- Early shopping – Many of the Cyber Monday deals we’re available into the early evening of Sunday and all through Monday. This is the nature of competition and how retailers continue to compete and out innovate each other. It’s likely true that retailers will continue to think of ways to beat out their competition by either pushing deals earlier or creating an experience that is hard to match.
- Mobile – Mobile devices are spreading out the experience of shopping, and individuals are less likely to shop on their work computer and instead use a smartphone or tablet. 24% of shoppers used mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) to shop this year, compared to only 14.3% last year.
Here are the 3 key reasons why Cyber Monday will continue on:
- Retailers have experienced record-breaking sales the past two years in a row. They are not going to give up a prime shopping holiday, but rather will continue to offer deep discounts on items to incentivize shoppers to visit them on Monday. In addition, boutique online stores are continuing to gain traction and popularity – we don’t have to look much further than stores built on ecommerce platforms from Shopify, Volusion, BIGcommerce, and others to see this in action. Deepfield predicted that Shopify would be the third most visited site after Amazon and EBay for Cyber Monday.
- Mobile will only make Cyber Monday more prominent. Distributed shopping is a nature of the progression in technology, but offering an experience while shopping online is still relatively new. Some online retailers have made the online experience of making a purchase easy. But this trend will continue and extend into every category and size of store along with content, recommendations, reviews, images, virtual try-on and more. Checkout the experience that StyleList and CyberMint created for Cyber Monday this year. Retailers that cannot create this experience will likely see sales slow down versus the ones that capture a story and the imagination of the shopper to offer them more than just another product on the shelf.
- Sales speak for themselves. Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2012 broke former records against 2011. Shoppers have become accustomed in the short time period that Cyber Monday has been in existence to expect shopping online the Monday after Thanksgiving.
What do you think? Does Cyber Monday have a promising future and what do online retailers have to do to continue this trend?
- Record Cyber Monday Shopping 30 Percent More Than 2011, IBM … – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday: How Do You Prefer to Shop? [EXCLUSIVE] (mashable.com)
- Cyber Monday crowned biggest Web shopping day in history (news.cnet.com)
- How Important Is Cyber Monday To America’s Retailers? (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)