Is Cyber Monday so 2005?
About 122 million Americans are expected to shop online today, otherwise known as Cyber Monday, according to Shop.org, the digital division of The National Retail Federation, which coined the phrase in 2005.
People would return to work on the Monday after Thanksgiving and take advantage of their employers high-speed Internet, making it the biggest online shopping day of the year.
Times have definitely changed. Black Friday started earlier than ever this year, on Thanksgiving, a day that retailers had traditionally not been open. Sales are even creeping into Cyber Monday. The lines between the two are becoming blurred. With Internet access virtually anywhere and anytime via mobile devices, consumers no longer need to wait until they are back in the office to get online deals.
Retail has noticed the mobile shopping trend and is responding. Almost 30 percent of retailers, like Best Buy, are offering Black Friday online-only deals, and price matching according to Shop.org. This seems to be having some effect, as Black Friday online sales made history this year as it topped $1 billion for the first time, according to comScore, a digital business analytics firm.
Apps and mobile devices accounted for 26 percent of visits to retail websites and 16 percent of purchases on Black Friday, according to IBM’s 2012 Holiday Benchmark Report. The report also states 28.5% of consumers have been using their mobile devices to make purchases, up four percentage points from last year.
The consumer shift to mobile devices, and apps will favor retailers who already have a strong mobile presence, and make it easy for customers to buy online like Best Buy, Amazon and eBay, though the same is true for mom-and-pop shops.
Ultimately, the competition between online and bricks-and-mortar stores means Black Friday and Cyber Monday are becoming one and the same, says Matt Shay, CEO of National Retail Federation.
"What we're going to see is that the two become further and further indistinguishable from one another," Shay says. "Everyone is playing everywhere now."
What does this merging of holiday sales traditions show us? It is another example of the developing dominance of mobile commerce. It’s a signal to businesses of all sizes to look for strategies that will allow them to put the “e” in front their commerce.