Just Another Manic (Cyber) Monday

Happy Cyber Monday, dear readers. Before we took a little break for Turkey Day here last week, I wrote about the anticipated sales of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.


Today comScore released an update of holiday season e-commerce spending covering the first 23 days (Nov. 1 - 23) of the 2007 holiday season/ . More than $9.3 billion has been spent online during the season to-date, marking a 17% gain versus the corresponding days last year. Online retail spending was strong on both Thanksgiving Day (up 29% to $272 million) and Black Friday (up 22% to $531 million), outpacing the season-to-date growth rate.


ComScore projects Cyber Monday sales of $700 million, easily outpacing the total of $608 million last year.

According to a Shop.org survey conducted this weekend by BIGresearch , 72.0 million consumers plan to shop online from home or at work today, up from 60.7 million in 2006 and 59.0 million in 2005. The survey found that 31.9 % of adults will shop on Cyber Monday, up 17.3 % over last year (27.2%). "Retailers will be unveiling a variety of incredible one-day sales on Cyber Monday to bring consumers to their websites," said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of Shop.org. "Online retailers consider Cyber Monday a virtual Black Friday and will be offering promotions that will be tough to beat later in the holiday season."


It makes sense to me. Let's face it -- who isn't wiped out today after being with family and friends for the holiday? Not to mention, we are all back to work. I personally avoided any retail outlet this weekend. Driving by a local mall, I couldn't see one parking spot.


So what's the lure of shopping online today? First off, we're barraged with messages of the holidays being right around the corner. We've seen and heard about a bunch of deals and promotions. It's no surprise that according to a Shop.org/Shopzilla eHoliday Survey, 72.2 % of online retailers are planning a special promotion for Cyber Monday, up from 42.7 % just two years ago. Promotions will range from specific deals (29.9%) to one-day sales (28.9%) to free shipping on all purchases (24.7%).


A Shop.org survey conducted by BIGresearch found that 54.5 % of office workers with Internet access, or 68.5 million people, will shop for holiday gifts from work, up substantially from 50.7 % in 2006. The company has put together a shopping mall site that includes over 500 retailers like Barnes & Noble, Lands' End and Sears.


Customers' top reasons for shopping online instead of in stores is the ability to shop at any time of day (58.5%), not wanting to fight crowds in stores (43.8%), and the general convenience of shopping on the Internet (38.7%). Shoppers also said they like the ability to compare prices online (36.2%) and that items are often easier to find online than in stores (29.9%).


I'm sure if you surf around you'll see promotions for free shipping, free shipping upgrades and online-only deals. I'll leave you with one final thought: If online consumers can't resist the allure of Cyber Monday, do eTailers covet the bulk of the traffic?

Tags: commentary
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