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Web sales expected to spike on ‘Cyber Monday’
Online equivalent of ‘Black Friday’ comes when consumers return to work

 6:15 am on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)




 6:13 pm on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Gotta love these unnamed "experts." Why don't they ask Wal-Mart.com what their busiest day is?

Every reporter used to "know" that the day after U.S. Thanksgiving was "the busiest shopping day of the year." You heard it every year on TV. But it's not true. Probably never was.

“Cyber Monday,” the term coined for the Monday after Thanksgiving, comes on the heels of the busy “Black Friday” shopping day when many brick-and-mortar retailers begin turning a profit.

The good news for online shoppers this year, is that “Cyber Monday” is becoming the Web shopping equivalent to “Black Friday” when retailers launch major sales and discounts to drive traffic, analysts said.

Excuse me, but most brick/mortar retailers except toy stores and Christmas tree lots are profitable all year. And a small number of niche business actually suffer during the Chistmas season.


 7:15 pm on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow. I didn't know Black Friday was nothing more than an urban legend.


[edited by: lorax at 1:14 pm (utc) on Nov. 27, 2005]
[edit reason] delinked [/edit]


 7:36 pm on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Heck, I've been in retailing for decades and I never heard it called "Black Friday" until very recently. That's a pretty stupid term for what is a joyous day.

This ia a case of retailing PR people and the media working together to create a mutually beneficial "event."

Other than the wild Saturday that precedes Christmas, sales are fairly even from early December thru--oddly--December 27th. There is no one-day burst of sales.

Year to year variations--even on a national level--probably have a lot to do with weather.

Online/catalog sales certainly end well before Christmas because of shipping delay. Our online holiday sales start about 2 months before and end about 10 days before the holiday.


 4:17 am on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Heck, I've been in retailing for decades and I never heard it called "Black Friday" until very recently.

Well, I'm at least two years behind you since I've only been in retail for 18 years, but Black Friday has ALWAYS been an event that we planned for (for months in advance) and highly anticipated. Sounds like you've been missing out.

That's a pretty stupid term for what is a joyous day.

You generally record losses in red ink and gains in black ink. Hence, "Black" Friday for retailers turning profitable.

This ia a case of retailing PR people and the media working together to create a mutually beneficial "event."

Maybe today that's true to some degree, but it was circumstances that created Black Friday. People are on vacation, usually with family, and have a four day weekend. Thanksgiving is now behind you and Christmas is just a short time away. People love to shop while on vacation so it's natural that the day/weekend after Thanksgiving creates an intensive shopping day. Retailers just learned to take advantage of this opportunity decades ago.


 6:47 am on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm saying that I never heard it called Black Friday until recently. Of course, the day after thanksgiving is always a big shopping day. It just isn't the biggest.

By decades of retail experience, I mean a lot more than two.

Can't chat long. According to cable news, tomorrow's "Cyber Monday" the biggest event since Natalee Holloway disappeared, so I know our servers will be smoking. LOL.


 4:22 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, is anyone seeing any "spiking?" We had a great weekend, but traffic/sales are pretty ordinary today.


 4:45 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Um..Yeah...Still waiting for the spike here in the U.S.


 4:53 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Pretty normal day.

"Cyber Monday" was undoubtably created out of thin air in the mind of a PR flack somewhere.


 7:15 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually, it's a shop.org term. They had a piece on this on NPR this morning.
"Cyber Monday" Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest
Online Shopping Days of the Year

I am seeing it for my affiliate sites. Sales are blasting today, but if memory serves me correctly, sales last year did not hit the high point on this monday. It was more of a start to the spike which toped out around the 14th or 15th.


 1:03 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah, should have figured.

That press release and the number of news sources that picked it up are a testament to the power of good PR.

They don't even claim that "Cyber Monday" is the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Excellent piece of non-news news.


 5:08 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

This has been a HUGE day for us! Conversions are through the roof - remember that each industry will be different.


 5:34 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with Jsinger. The day after Thanksgiving doesn't even rank in the top 5 days for me. I have a store in a local shopping mall, and i've operated in dozens of shopping malls over the past 12 years. I can't speak for Wal-Mart, Sears, etc., but in the malls, the busiest 5 days are the 5 days before Christmas. The 23rd of December is normally our biggest day BY FAR. The 23rd is usually 4 times as busy as the day after Thanksgiving. Once in a while the 20th, 21st or 22nd will be our busiest day if one of those 3 hit a Saturday. "Black Friday" usually ranks somewhere between the 6th-10th busiest day for the non-anchor Mall retailers.


 5:37 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

As for "Cyber Monday".... Normally our busiest day is sometime between the 5th-12th of December. However, I am happy to say that today is the busiest day our online store has ever had. So, maybe there is some truth to it. I will have to wait until mid-december to see .....


 6:45 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not bad, but not an earth shattering day...


 7:06 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, this is the best day of November, both for web traffic and earnings. But not overwhelming, maybe 10% more than the next best day. I'll take it! :)


 7:24 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

If online stores have a better than normal day on Cyber Monday, chances are it's due to the hype the media has given to the day. I'm not saying an online store can't carry it's own weight on merit and product alone. But the hype over Cyber Monday certainly only helped stores in the end.


 8:02 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Our Cyber Monday verdict: Ordinary day in terms of traffic and sales. About the same as last few Mondays.

In general, how many web stores do well on Mondays? Most, I believe, see peak traffic and sales mid-week.

Still, the Cyber Monday appellation serves a PR purpose. If only web retailers could concoct some video of stampeding shoppers being electronically trampled and bloodied. That sort of predictable gimmickry has been a mainstay of day-after-Thanksgiving news reports for a century.


 12:36 pm on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

The 23rd of December is normally our biggest day BY FAR.

I had read last year that the 23rd/24th were actually the new B&M busiest shopping days of the year. Lots and lots of procrastinators out there. :)


 3:16 pm on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

We had OK online sales yesterday but we didn't expect much because our products aren't really gifts.


 3:34 pm on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Slashdot just posted an article about the "non-existance" of Cyber Monday.

They are refering to this Business Week article:



 11:37 pm on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yep, it's a myth that just may live on forever now that it's out there.

I think AdSense revenues may peak later than online sales as people browse online but buy offline in time to wrap and ship gifts.

Still, there will be a lot of overnight shipments on 22, 23, 24 December. USPS even ships overnight for Christmas Day (Sunday this year).

Kevin French

 12:40 am on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well..."Cyber Monday" as it's now called was fantastic for us. It was the best day in the history of our 21 year old company (9 of those years with a web presence). Our conversions and # of orders were through the roof!

We're all flying high this week.


 1:29 am on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think what shop.org was trying to do was actually create a official online shopping day. There is a method to their madness, if you think about it.

Let's go back a few decades. At some point in time, people did not line up outside stores at 4AM the day after Thanksgiving. Someone at some point in time created this myth of a Black Friday. Maybe there was some kernal of truth to it (just like there is to "Cyber Monday"). Maybe a few more people went shopping that day than typical but not significant amounts. But myths are pretty powerful things, even in marketing terms. When people believe them, they are conditioned. Merchants made special sales so they could attract more of these mythical customers they heard about which then drove more people to the stores on that day and *bam* a vicious circle is established and now you have wackos hanging outside Wal-Mart in 10F weather at 4AM on a Friday.

We are watching the beginings of that same process for the web. This year, we saw the first real stirrings of a turf war in the merchant space. Many big shops ran all their "Black Friday" specials online on Thanksgiving day in an attempt to keep people from shopping in stores on Black Friday. This isn't really a healthy thing for long term shopping growth. It is much better to get shoppers to spend money in both places (they spend more overall). Shop.org appears to have been trying to make the compromise.

They are trying to concede Thanksgiving by creating a special online day. They tell people that people shop on that Monday for things they couldn't find offline and *bam* every year you will have more and more people who will hit the internet on Monday to finish holiday shopping because that's what "everybody" does. Money that may have been lost because someone doesn't shop online and so therefore just doesn't buy the thing they couldn't find, will be recovered because that person will now do their shopping online on Monday for the same reason they stood outside Wal-Mart in 10F weather at 4AM on a Friday. Because everybody does it (isn't that what the news says?) so it must be okay to do and besides, that's how you get the best deals (or at least that's what they and the merchants are told).

That's not an official stand on it. That's my take on this.

I actually think it was a pretty smart marketing move for shop.org to do. The biggest obsticle right now with online shopping is all the news hype saying that "people are afraid to shop online". What better way to combat it than to have news hype about a day where everybody shops online?


 3:43 am on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oldtimers know that I work with alot of ecom sites.

Sites selling general consumer products had 7x times the normal sales yesterday on average.

Today it looks stronger, but I will not know until stats are updated later on Wednesday.

Overall it looks likes 10-15% increase over last year so far.

Good trend. Some sites thats were agressive in their product offerings are seeing 4x ytw increases.


 5:52 am on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Its really amazing how much buzz a PR release can create sometimes - great job by shop.org!


 6:38 am on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)


When you say " general consumer products".. are you referring to toasters,shoes,and dvd's?

We sell auto performance products and really didnt see much of a jump...biz os still healthy, but the thanksgiving weekend wasnt anything out of the ordinary...



 12:19 pm on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's not an official stand on it. That's my take on this.

Your thought processes are always excellent and insightful.


 1:48 pm on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I actually think it was a pretty smart marketing move for shop.org to do.

Most of what good PR and marketing folks do is pretty smart. They've built a symbiotic relationship with news outlets to promote their agenda.

And, in this case, the ecommerce part of my brain is pretty happy about the push. At the very least, "Cyber Monday" marks the beginning on the online shopping season. And, anytime mainstream media highlights the magnitude of online sales, its a very good thing for us. (A lot of my customers that call in their orders still aren't familiar with and don't trust this whole online thing.)

But, the non-ecommerce part of me gets annoyed with this sort of thing. If you read the Shop.org press release and then the stories done by our "reputable" "news" "sources" you quickly realize how much "news" that you read is not really news at all. Its just whatever a PR flack and their willing accomplices cooked up. I guess I always assumed reporters did more actual reporting and less cut-and-pasting.


 5:00 pm on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

One result of Cyber Monday hype: We've seen a huge spike in incoming junk mail this past two days.

I guess spammers bought into that hype.

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