Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Styled after Black Friday ( the day after Thanksgiving when offline “brick and mortar” retailers in the United States offer deep discounts and sales, usually for one day only) Cyber Monday has in past years been more of a media creation than the day of highest revenue for online retailers. In fact, CNET reported that:
The biggest online holiday shopping day is not, as it turns out, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Only 10 percent of Americans surveyed online said they will shop on the Web on so-called Cyber Monday, according to a report published Monday by MasterCard. The survey was conducted by Ipsos Insight for the credit card company.
Last year, the day with the highest amount of Web transactions processed was actually December 5, a week after Cyber Monday, according to MasterCard’s worldwide data for 2005.
SearchSMB’s Shamus McGillicuddy wondered whether businesses would be ready for the possible surge in online traffic in his article, small online shops vie for post-Thanksgiving sales.
Is increased server load a concern on Cyber Monday? While CNET still holds that Cyber Monday is a myth, Nicholas Carlson over at InternetNews.com wrote Cyber Monday Breaks Records in 2006, with “customer spending on Cyber Monday totaled $608 million, up 26 percent versus the same day last year, according to comScore.” Given that that rise could simply be reflective of a year over year growth in online holiday spending, however, this stat alone isn’t indicative of Cyber Monday’s bonafides as “the busiest days of the year” for e-tailers. It may be most useful to think of the day as a kickoff to the season, with online merchants offering special deals in the same way that their bricks-and-mortar counterparts do on Black Friday. We’ll certainly be watching (and clicking) in November.