Derided by some as just a marketing gimmick, Cyber Monday actually became the “Biggest Online Shopping Day of the Year” in 2014 — nine years after its launch. The National Retail Federation introduced Cyber Monday in 2005 as a way to promote online sales. But, was the promotion really needed? After all, the real-time motives behind the creation of Cyber Monday were already at work… literally.
The Need for Speed and Secrecy
According to Reader’s Digest, Finally! Here’s How Cyber Monday Even Became a Thing, research available in 2004 demonstrated that the Monday, post-Thanksgiving, equaled one of the most lucrative annual online shopping days.
But, unlike the celebration of Small Business Saturday, these shoppers weren’t necessarily looking to support online stores or make a statement against mega-retailers and Black Friday deals.
What these shoppers were looking for came down to two things:
- faster Internet speeds at work compared to home
- a place to shop for holiday gifts in secrecy away from their children.
So, whether they were dragged down by dial-up or determined to squash any snooping on the part of their offspring, online shopping from the office was trending.
And it still is…
The Marketing Behind Cyber Monday
Of course, flex a little marketing muscle behind just about anything and results will likely follow. What started as a 2005 Shop.org press release, crafted by Ellen Davis, senior VP of research and strategic initiatives for the National Retail Federation, has skyrocketed into an online shopping phenomenon.
Exhibit A: Fortune’s Cyber Monday Sales Hit a New Record in 2016, reported that sales of $3.45 billion made Cyber Monday in 2016 “the biggest day in the history of U.S. e-commerce.”
But, Cyber Monday has a ways to go if it wants to become the biggest online shopping day worldwide.
For now, that distinction belongs to China’s Single’s Day, with single-day sales topping $14.3 billion.
What is Single’s Day?
A story for another time…