SAN FRANCISCO — Even with ubiquitous smartphones, Cyber Monday still exists. But now add Cyber Friday, Saturday and Sunday to the online shopping tradition.
The first Monday after Thanksgiving is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year for American consumers. Adobe predicts it will pass the $3 billion mark for the first time this year.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans told the National Retail Federation they plan to shop online Cyber Monday, a potential 183.8 million shoppers.
That’s in keeping with a trend that dates to the advent of widespread Internet shopping a decade ago, when consumers with slow dial-up connections at home would use their faster connections at work to buy electronics and other gifts online, and retailers rolled out deals to maximize this surge in interest.
These days, more homes have fast broadband connections, and smartphones have made it possible to shop anywhere, anytime.
That availability hasn’t knocked Cyber Monday from its perch. But it’s extended the online shopping spree to the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
“It’s retailers’ strongest punch of the year. They’ve really got that weekend to swing at it and move a lot of merchandise,” said Gene Alvarez, chief e-commerce analyst for tech research company Gartner.
The percentage of holiday shopping done online in the U.S. continues to increase. While online sales are about 10% of retail sales overall, they jump to 15% during the months of November and December, says a report by Forrester Research.
However, the once-clear demarcation between online and in-person shopping is morphing into what retailers call “omni channel” sales, in which customers move seamlessly between their computers, their phones and their feet to shop.
“Consumers don’t care about channel. They don’t care whether they’re looking at it on a phone or standing in a store,” said Vicki Cantrell, executive director of the National Retail Federation’s digital retail division.
Some large online retailers are also using the weekend to push shoppers to certain platforms.
Amazon is making some of its best deals available only on its mobile app.
Back in the days of dial-up
Cyber Monday started in the early 2000s. Online shopping existed, but many consumers didn’t have Internet access, or sometimes even computers, at home.
“People had slow, dial-up connections at home. They’d go to work to get a high-speed connection so they could shop,” said Gartner’s Alvarez.
As retailers reported a spike in digital sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving, the National Retail Federation coined the phrase “Cyber Monday” and created a site, cybermonday.com.
“It’s funny how quickly traditions take hold. Here we are talking about something that’s just 10 years old, but the kids in my freshman class can’t imagine a time when it didn’t exist,” said John Talbott, with Indiana University’s Center for Education and Research in Retailing.
Today, Cyber Monday is no longer driven by consumer behavior.
“Cyber Monday has pivoted from the ‘shopping at work’ trend to a promotional opportunity for retailers that gives consumers a chance to save money on their holiday shopping,” said Scot Wingo, executive chairman of ChannelAdvisor, an e-commerce software company.
It’s also become the preferred shopping day for those who don’t want to be up at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. on Black Friday “to fight the crowds and possibly be trampled,” he said. “They’d rather wait for Monday and look for it online.”
Google did some research on the high and low traffic times during last year’s holiday shopping season. What they found, might surprise you. Test your knowledge, here!
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What are people standing in line to buy for Black Friday sales? Those big, nea beautiful flat-screen TVs, reports Jefferson Graham.
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Nov. 25 — Dottie Mattison, chief executive officer at Gracious Home and Bloomberg’s Shannon Pettypiece discuss Target’s preparations and expectations for Black Friday sales and examine the state of retail heading into the holiday shopping season. T
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Retailer REI announced back in October that it would close its stores on Black Friday this year and instead encourage people to #optoutside.To make opting out more attractive, several parks are waiving entry fees for the day.
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Black Friday shopping has given way to Thanksgiving night shopping. From 24/7 Wall Street, these five stores have all announced they will keep their doors close on Thanksgiving.
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Black Friday shopping has given way to Thanksgiving night shopping. From 24/7 Wall Street, these five stores will open their doors on thanksgiving night to shoppers.
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USA Today’s Hadley Malcolm offers advice on how to save money and limit spending on Black Friday and throughout the holiday shopping season.
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You would never go to the frozen foods section to find a laptop, but that’s where Walmart has stashed those very doorbusters in the past. Money expert Matt Granite shows you where to find the biggest savings this Black Friday.
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Start downloading retail apps now. Jefferson Graham reports that some of the best Black Friday deals will be online only.
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Savings expert Matt Granite and his team have combed through more ads than you could all day Black Friday, to find you the very best deals.
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This man knows how to camp out in style! Check out his Black Friday “command center” outside a Best Buy, complete with all the comforts of home.
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No discount is worth a broken bone.
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Two big days. Lots of different deals! Find out when to save more.
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Apparently 40% of Americans have already started their holiday shopping. Is it a smart move?
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Planning on waiting in line for Black Friday? Deal expert Matt Granite explains why you’re better off staying home.
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Don’t be fooled by Black Friday hype–there are better deals to be had.
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This year there will be no rest for the holiday shopping weary. As part of the growing trend to start holiday sales earlier, Walmart has announced that they will begin their Cyber Monday sales the Sunday night of Thanksgiving weekend.
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What’s the number one gift item the young man in your life craves? It’s probably the Hoverboard, which Jefferson Graham says is the most coveted – and hard to get–gift.
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Black Friday sales have started, but where are the deals? USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham asks.
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Deal Expert Matt Granite dishes out the secrets of holiday shopping on Black Friday doorbusters and Cyber Monday.
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Amazon is the latest retailer to offer deals ahead of Black Friday.
Video provided by Newsy
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Whether you plan to hit the stores on Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, retailers are gearing up for the biggest shopping weekend of the year. (Nov. 24)
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Walmart is remaking Black Friday by ditching doorbusters as part of a strategy to make holiday shopping easier for customers. Instead, it plans to simplify the shopping period by providing nearly all of its deals both online and in stores at once.
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Savings guru Matt Granite warns you about what not to can buy before Black Friday and how to find out about doorbusters two weeks early.
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Target has joined the Black Friday deal fray, with a big emphasis on discounts and bundles for Apple products. Most notable among the Target deals is a bundling of an $100 gift card with the purchase of an Apple Watch.
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Roku is known for their 4K-streaming capabilities in set top boxes. The Roku SE is a $50 set-top box that supports all of the content from the company’s other set-top boxes and works with older TVs. For Black Friday, Roku is offering a discount.
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The day of shop-ageddon is right around the corner.
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Big retail stocks dropped more than 10% Friday after a selloff just ahead of the start of the holiday shopping season. Matt Krantz discusses on this edition of America’s Markets.
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Outdoor and fitness retailer REI announced it will be closed for Black Friday this year, urging customers to “opt outside” instead of shopping.
Video provided by Newsy
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