Cyber Monday, When It Starts, and Current Trends

The Biggest Shopping Day of the Year

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Cyber Monday is November 28, 2018, the first Monday after Thanksgiving. It was christened by Shop.org in 2005. At that time, shoppers needed the faster internet speeds from work computers to shop online. Now, personal laptops and mobile devices are as fast as work computers. 

In 2017, it was the biggest shopping day of the year. According to , online shoppers spent $6.6 billion, 16.5 percent more than in 2016.

Cyber Monday sales replaced those of Black Friday, which only received $5 billion in online sales. 

Three-fourths of shoppers dive in first thing Monday morning. Twenty-five percent shop during lunch and 34 percent go online Monday night. Only 19 percent take advantage of Cyber Monday sales the rest of the week. 

Cyber-Monday has begun starting earlier every year. Nearly a third of shoppers begin Cyber Monday on the Sunday before.

Top stores like , Amazon, and ,start Cyberweek sales on Thanksgiving Day itself. The best way to get in on their deals is to sign up for their email newsletters.

Sales Trends

Cyber Monday has set new records each year since its inception. Since 2009, Cyber Monday sales have more than tripled, as the chart below shows.

Year  Sales (in billions)Comments
2009$0.887 
2010$1.038First time in sales.
2011$1.3Sales rose . 
2012$1.5Mobile devices equaled . 
2013$2.29Sales rose 20%. Black Friday fell. 
2014$2.5 
2015$3.04Stores offered discounts on mobile devices.
2016$6.6

Why Cyber Monday Is So Popular

Cyber Monday shoppers are very clear about why they like the day. More than 40 percent of time-strapped shoppers said the 24-hour convenience is their highest priority. Almost as many listed their desire to avoid the crowds on Black Friday as their primary reason for shopping online.

Almost a third of online shoppers said they like the ability to easily compare prices.

The strong results on Cyber Monday are because of the aggressive sales offered by retailers with an online presence. Almost 90 percent of retailers offered Cyber Monday sales. Forty-five percent of retailers offered coupons or a percentage discount  while more than one-third had limited-time-only promotions. Fewer or 15 percent promoted a free gift-with-purchase.

More than half of retailers offered to increase their "free shipping" budget, while one-third of retailers offered free shipping even earlier than ever. These retailers are smart because 36 percent of shoppers surveyed said they'd increase their online shopping only if shipping were free.

Only a few online shoppers said they would buy less, thanks to expensive shipping charges. Others didn't like that they weren't able to see or handle their purchases ahead of time. Some customers didn't like having to wait for it to be shipped. 

Growing Importance of Mobile Technology and Social Media

Shoppers are using social media more than ever. Almost one-third said they would go to a company's Facebook page to get additional information about Cyber Monday sales.

Twice as many would look at customer reviews on the company's website before buying any products or services.

 respond to shoppers' use of mobile technology and  by promoting there. More than half of retailers made sure their website sales were optimized for mobile devices. Another 20 percent optimize for tablet device apps. More than a third use QR codes in magazine and billboard ads.

Online retailers also maximized their use of social media. Almost three-quarters said they'd promote sales on their  while more than 40 percent promoted on Twitter.

According to the National Retail Federation Annual Survey, 40 percent of tablet users compare prices, while 20 percent redeem coupons. Most important, almost a third buy online using their tablets.

How to Get the Best Cyber Monday Deals

Retail sales can be found on , which features a schedule of what retailers offer deals at what times in a "Deal of the Hour" promotion.

You can find sales from more than 800 online retailers.

ComScore reports that more than half of the deals consists of free shipping. Retailers also offered various price discounts. Other offers included free gifts with purchase.

Impact on Retail

Cyber Monday reflects the growth of internet retailing. By 2020, it is expected to reach , growing almost 10 percent annually. The increasing power of cell phones is driving that growth. In 2017,  said that 60 percent of their “everyday transactions” occurred in a digital form instead of a store. 

The success of internet retailing spells doom for brick-and-mortar stores. In 2018, former J.C. Penney CEO Mike Ullman said that  1,200 shopping malls will survive over the next five years. Those that do will serve the highest-earning 20 percent. Ullman said that only malls that can attract an Apple or Tesla store would survive. 

In 2018,  at record-high rates. Well-known brands such as Nine West, Claire's, and Toys R Us announced bankruptcy in the first four months of the year.

In Depth: Why Is Black Friday Called Black Friday? | Green Monday