Note: The views expressed herein are all my own, conjured and extracted from my previously biased yet limited point of view. Dissenting views may be expressed in the comments below and are encouraged.
This past week has been a lot of fun from hunting for those Black Friday deals in the stores to researching how stores were maximizing their on-line presence rending many of us thinking that in-store shopping was for the birds. We enjoyed your feedback in discussing your Black Friday strategies which revealed that many of you were excited to stay home, sip on a cup of joe and find many of those deals in the store price matched either at the retailer’s website (with limited or free shipping) or by a store that boasts the largest selection on earth: Amazon.com.
So what does that have to do with the price of rice in China? Well, everything really. I think what we saw this year was yet again another nail in the coffin for those trying to make a business off of Cyber Monday advertising. What?!
Well first let’s start with the brutal statistics. Cyber Monday has rapidly degraded into “just another holiday shopping day” over the last couple of years. According to Wikipedia, the following boosts in spending were found on Cyber Monday:
- In 2006, online spending jumped 25 percent on Cyber Monday to $608 million.
- In 2007, online spending jumped 21 percent on Cyber Monday to $744 million.
- In 2008, online spending jumped 15 percent on Cyber Monday to $846 million.
- In 2009, online spending jumped just 5 percent on Cyber Monday to $887 million.
On first view, these numbers are pretty compelling in suggesting that Cyber Monday may be on its way to just another holiday shopping day. On second thought taking into consideration words such as recession, stimulus packages…err, the same conclusion is reached…at least in my mind, especially when you factor in the 15.9% boost in online sales growth from Black Friday 2009 to Black Friday 2010 (according to an article just published on Mashable) further reducing the need for Cyber Monday.
First, why is this trend occurring? Much speculation abounds here, but I believe much is attributed to the fact that we as a nation are just becoming more tech savvy. Our grandparents are using computers, our young kids are using them, and darnit, we just can’t get enough of technology. Search companies such as Google are just swimming in the money from the fact that we are a people that couldn’t imagine not using their search engine to find the 11th digit of PI. And we are a people that have grown to love shopping on-line with the question having changed from “Do you have broadband?” to “Who are you paying for it?”
We just love to shop on-line! And Amazon loves that you love to shop on-line (as well as other e-commerce sites differing in significance). How many times did you see Amazon.com deals laced all over our site and the rest of the web? Hands down they were on their game this year – price matching competitors’ prices and hoping you would choose them over the storefront. And from our handful of gathered statistics I think they can declare success.
So what does this have to do with Cyber Monday? Well, in my humble opinion and from those alarming statistics presented above, I just wonder how much longer we consumers will be fooled by the Cyber Monday hype. Are companies throwing in the towel and declaring an end to Cyber Monday however? Of course not. Check out www.cybermonday.com (the site birthed by Shop.org soon after the term Cyber Monday was coined) to see that major brands are still looking for your business this upcoming Monday. They will invest and look for you to buy. The deals will be there but will they be as hot as we hope? We’ll post them if they are but we are assuming they will be just another day of holiday deals; well, maybe a bit better than that.
Its going to be interesting to see if Cyber Monday is still around in five years. I assume it will be in some fashion (what about Black Friday?? that’s a topic for another time…) as consumers tend to enjoy shopping from the office if not for privacy but for lack of wanting to be at work. 🙂 But if the statistical trend continues, its significance may be that of a sale at a used car lot – sure its a sale to get you in the door but not worth talking about.
So what about you? Are you preparing for Cyber Monday and strategizing on all the deals you hope to find? Or are you a bit burned out by Black Friday week, online shopping galore and are just ready to get back to normalcy? Inquiring minds want to know. I’d love to get your feedback and see if you think I have a point or whether I’m just dead wrong.