As reports predict that Cyber Monday sales were up nearly 20% from last year and the Monday online holiday explodes into Cyber Week we asked BuzzBlog featured authors and staffers to weigh in on the phenomenon.
I am an avid online shopper preferring to avoid the crowds and hassle. Now that we have an office in Soho shopping is a bit easier. Yesterday I popped into Bloomingdales prior to a dinner to pick up a couple of things that I needed to see in person. There were no salespeople in the crystal area initially (it was 6:15 p.m.). It took me a half hour to buy one piece of crystal, which I identified in five seconds once I saw it. The romantic ‘experience’ being in Bloomingdales during for holiday shopping (so New York) was far from ideal and made me more resolved to avoid more of the same. All hail Cyber Monday!
Cyber Monday will be the new Black Friday someday! Look for sales in the neighborhood of $1 billion on Cyber Monday – making it the largest online retail sales day in history. And it’s only going to grow as more retailers participate more aggressively and shoppers willingly follow!
The deals can mostly be found any time of year, but the excitement and enthusiasm you find online on Cyber Monday is definitely noticeable. And you’ll feel like one of the ‘in crowd’ as the numbers start getting reported. Those intangibles aside, it’s a great way to contribute to the economy, save yourself the hassle of mall parking, and explore sites and products you might not otherwise see.
My father is a church-going man who loves his Yankees and his Giants. What he is not is a techophile—email is pushing the limits of his online knowledge. So when he’s hitting me up about Cyber Monday sales (30% off at Eddie Bauer! Plus free shipping! No minimum purchase!), I know that this excuse-for-another-blowout-promotion is not only legit, but mainstream. It may just be time for this skeptic to get on the virtual bandwagon…
I too am an avid online shopper to the point where I shop for electronics, jewelry, and other goods almost exclusively online. But the beauty of shopping for things online is being smart and getting the best deal possible. When people tell me that I can go online one particular Monday and get better deals than any other day I think HUMBUG—isn’t that why eBay stores, Woot, and many other sites exist for? To help me find the best deal any time I want. So I don’t subscribe to the idea that Cyber Monday is better than any other as far as the deals, if you don’t mind doing some digging whenever you shop. But today it might be easier to find the best deals because they are more abundant.
After Monday’s success you wonder what is next. Cyber sales will continue to grow? Will it change? What will enhance the experience?
And why wait till Monday? As we have noticed, holiday decorations are moving up in the calendar-think for cyber sales to compete they will no longer wait for Monday and move to Black Friday as well. Best deals want to be found and known about even before people start trotting around for bargains. Besides, cyber sellers do not want a competitive disadvantage against traditional brick and mortar.
Innovation is important, although the quicker we can make educated decisions, and compare to local brick and mortar, the better. Services like Nextag.com, where you can compare and choose, will grow exponentially. Next take away any other apprehension, make size selection easier, show color easily and accurately. And last but not least offer fraud prevention and protection.
Jolly shopping season.
-Robert F. Brands