Cyber Monday: Myth Or Reality?

Hello, dear readers. I hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving. As we all roll back into work today, let's not forget it's Cyber Monday. What is that, you ask? Well, we had Black Friday. It's one of the biggest shopping days of the year offline. The Monday after Thanksgiving is dubbed Cyber Monday, as it's the Web's chance at a Black Friday. It's said to be the biggest shopping day online. Is it hype by marketers?

Well, I wish it were true. Personally, I've heard a lot of buzz about it. Even at Thanksgiving, the most un-Web-savvy of relatives said, "Well if I don't find what I want tomorrow in the stores, I'll go online to look for sales on Monday." Too funny.

According to a recent article on, Cyber Monday seems to be a bit of a farce. Ispos and Mastercard conducted a study that found only 10% of Americans surveyed online said they will shop on the Web on Cyber Monday.



The verdict is out as far as what the busiest shopping day of the year is online. Ispos and Mastercard found that it was Dec. 5 last year, whereas a survey found it was Dec. 12. About three out of four shoppers plan to shop online and expect to spend $300 online out of a total holiday spend of $700 each, MasterCard said in its report.

Why not make it an event? Why not brand the heck out of it and create the busiest shopping day of the year? I perused some search engines this morning to do a quick gut check. Kudos to the online marketing folks at Staples. They had pay-per-click and paid inclusion ads with Cyber Monday copy. Ironically, when I went to link on the Cnet/ article, I got an interstitial for SAP. Not really contextually fitting SAP, sorry.

I went on a site that said it had "specials from Friday through Sunday"--OK, I guess they didn't pay much attention to Cyber Monday. I had a few promotional codes from a magazine. One was to save 20%. The other was to get free shipping, and the last was to get a free gift with a purchase of a minimum order. There were no clear restrictions on combining any of the offers. At checkout, there were multiple fields to enter in promotional codes. Every time I entered the code in, the site gave me an error message. Long story short, I got to use two out of three promotional codes. I got stuck with none other than the shipping charge. Ugh.

Let's think of the basics when it comes to enticing shoppers to transact online. The bulk of it is simple, I think. Shoppers want:

  • Deals

  • Inventory

  • Easy navigation around the site and at checkout

  • Clear privacy statements to ensure the security of the transaction

  • Enough bandwidth so the site doesn't crash

  • Free shipping

  • Clear and easy return policies

    So how do you feel about Cyber Monday? I am going to check out the new site by, Are there deals? Do online users know? Have etailers successfully promoted their wares? Well, this writer thinks it's a myth that can quickly (but not this year) become a reality.

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