Okay, well if you are like me, you don’t really have any idea what Cyber Monday really is or how this day came about. All I really know is I got AMAZING online deals with fabletics ( athleisure retailer), Bobbi Brown ( make up brand), and Uber ( I think we all know what Uber is by now). Now what do all three of those purchases have in common besides being painfully basic? They were all also incredible deals honoring Cyber Monday-perhaps America’s true favorite “holiday”.
I think it is safe to say that most of us have heard about Black Friday ( I have had the misfortune of actually working two Black Fridays and it is crazy what you see go down on this day ), but I had not started really hearing about Cyber Monday until about three years ago.
Therefore, since I just hours ago picked up some of my purchases in the BC mail room that I ordered in the Pre-Cyber Monday Sale , I have decided to delve a little deeper into the day which brought these goodies into my living room.
Okay Ummm So How did this Day Happen?
“Cyber Monday” was coined by Ellen Davis and made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”. There are some that argue that “Cyber Monday is nothing more than a marketing ploy; just another way for corporate America to prey on people’s emotions and insecurities”. Now…I would tend to agree with that point of view ( maybe minus a little of the intense cynicism), but I would defiantly tend to agree with the fact that Cyber Monday has been perpetuated into our society largely due to a clever marketing ploy.
I personally would just count Cyber Monday in with the other “marketing schemes” that corporate America has so subtly yet effectively sewn into our culture. I often find myself asking how thing such as: how did giving out candy on Halloween become a thing, or how did Easter get correlated with a bunny which leaves chocolate eggs, or how did an elderly man who comes into peoples homes and leaves toys become a thing? – I think the answers, at least in some part, to all these cultural enigmas is marketing and corporate America, but this is a different argument for a different time. Nevertheless, the same premise works in this situation. Bluntly, Cyber Monday was in great part made up to take advantage of e-commerce and make money.
Why This Works…
Culture of Consumption
When Cyber Monday first became a “thing” in 2006, online shopping was just starting to really gain traction. Since everyone seemed interested in this new way of consuming and it seemed like a great opportunity to make money, why not expedite the process by blowing it up into a holiday? Since 2006, it is clear that e-commerce has increased significantly and with this increase in online shopping so have sales on Cyber Monday increased. The USA does have the reputation of being a consumption base society and this drive and necessity to “buy, buy, buy” has only been compounded and expedited by online shopping super days such as Cyber Monday.
The Timing is Impecable
Additionally, it is important to remember that Cyber Monday is both the Monday after Thanksgiving and after Black Friday. The timing is impeccable, which creates an incredible formula for cyber success.
People are feeling generous because they just spent a whole day being grateful + they are on a roll from Black Friday shopping + on a mission for Christmas gifts + on a slight yet powerful high from the massive and rapid consumption + tired from the physical in store shopping from Black Friday + AND they are not completly broke yet! ( deep breath).
This = the perfect formula for the ideal environment for a Cyber spending bash! So why not take advantage of that extraneous momentum and slap a label on Monday, knighting it Cyber Monday, and reap the benefits right?
The “You Go Girl” Mentality
Lastly, huge cyber deals give people a feeling of savvy and accomplishment from all the money they just “saved”. Do not underestimate how powerful this feeling is. It is exactly this feeling of “saving” that leads one to spend $300 in one sitting because theortically you feel like you just saved $200 off the “original price”. If you prompt people with unbelievable deals that they can not refuse, you are in turn loading them with a sense of accomplishment. Now, you are really in business! Reactions which you may experience due to immense pride in your brilliant shopping strategy include: the…
“The YOU GO GIRL”
“The Internal-Proud Of Me-Slow Clap”
“The Fist Pump”
“The OH YEAH“
Well…that is what I always tell myself anyway to justify my actions. These internal reactions instigated by incredible online deals, like those on Cyber Monday, pumps people with a deceptive sense of accomplishment. The reality may look a little more like this…
The Hard Facts and Figures:
Okay, so we have been talking a lot about motives, growth, and sales, so time to back it up with some hard numbers.
It is a fact that sales on Cyber Monday have increased significantly every year since the inception of the “holiday”.
With the exception of the year between 2008-2009 ( most likely a direct result of the recession) Cyber Monday sales have increased by double digit percentage increments every year! The results are pretty spectacular as Cyber Monday continues to grow and expand.
Now, let’s focus a little more on this past Cyber Monday 2016:
“Black Friday 2016’s reign as the biggest US online sales day ever didn’t last long. Three days to be exact. That’s because Cyber Monday hit $3.45 billion in online sales, up 12 percent from a year earlier. The day edged out Black Friday by roughly $110 million”.
Just one more excerpt that demonstrates the colossal power and impact of Cyber Monday, which I bet many of you reading this were participants in . ( you know who you are).
It is important to remember that Cyber Monday is by no means a U.S. only “holiday”, but it is one of those few things that brings the whole world together, shopping and saving. Soon after Cyber Monday began in the USA it spread across the globe. Britain is second to the USA in sales on Cyber Monday, but also states that Cyber Monday “has been the busiest day for online shopping since 2009”. Cyber Monday is also “celebrated” all over Latin America, Europe, Australia, India, Japan, ect… It is a world wide day of online consumption! Another notable country picking up significant traction on Cyber Monday is China due to their ever increasing e-commerce market. (as I spoke about in my presentation a couple weeks ago). However, again, it is important to note that China runs their version of Cyber Monday on their unique Chinese e-commerce platform.
So Who Partakes in Cyber Monday?
Most big companies you can think of will have Cyber Monday specials such as:
- Uber/AMEX ( I got two $65 free Uber rides from the airport from this partnership)
“Smaller” companies also take part in Cyber Monday specials such as:
- Bobbi Brown ( I got 20% off every item I purchased online! Winning :))
- Fabletics ( 2 bras, 1 top, 1 pair of leggings got $40, yay!)
And hundreds more! I just thought it would be valuable to showcase a couple in order to highlight one of the main trends with Cyber Monday purchases, which is that the majority of sales comes from clothing and beauty products. On the country, Black Friday has a tendency to have a major portion of its sales come from home appliance products, furniture, and large technology items.
What to Expect Down the Line…
I fully expect Cyber Monday 2017 to out perform Cyber Monday 2016 not only here, but also globally. E-commerce is only becoming more powerful and prevalent as social media among several other outlets continues to facilitate the process and exposure. We shall see…you never know what corporate America will come up with next. All I really know is I am SO excited about my purchases and all the money I “saved” on Cyber Monday.