Old Wives' Tales
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Claim: The Monday after Thanksgiving is the busiest online shopping day of the year in the U.S.
Origins: Now that it seems nearly every human activity has a computer- or Internet-based equivalent (e.g., cybersex,
Just as Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is supposedly the busiest "brick and mortar" shopping day of the year in the U.S., so Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) is supposedly the busiest online shopping day of the year. But even though Black Friday may be the day that the largest number of consumers traipse through malls and shopping centers to look at goods, it isn't really the highest-volume sales day (in terms of dollars spent) of the year. Likewise, although
The term "Cyber Monday" is only a few years old (having been coined in 2005), and in neither of the last few years was it close to being the biggest online shopping day of the
So where did the concept of Cyber Monday as the "busiest online shopping day" originate? As BusinessWeek noted in 2005, the term was something created by a retailers association as a promotional scheme:
So what's up with this Cyber Monday idea? A little bit of reality and a whole lot of savvy marketing. It turns out that Shop.org, an association for retailers that sell online, dreamed up the term just days before putting out aTypically, the busiest "real" shopping day of the year occurs on the Saturday before Christmas, and the busiest
The idea was born when a few people at the organization were brainstorming about how to promote online shopping, says Shop.org Executive Director Scott Silverman. They quickly discarded suggestions such as Black Monday (too much like Black Friday), Blue Monday (not very cheery), and Green Monday (too environmentalist), and settled on Cyber Monday. "It's not the biggest day," Silverman concedes. "But it was an opportunity to create some consumer excitement."
The genesis of the concept goes back even further. Shop.org member Shmuel Gniwisch, chief executive of the online jewelry site Ice.com, recalls getting an
Matt Tatham, a spokesman for Hitwise, a company that tracks 100 of the largest online retailers, says there's another trend that's emerged over the last few holiday seasons: the greatest amount of online traffic (searching and visiting, though not necessarily buying) happening on turkey day itself.Last updated: 29 November 2009
"After the tryptophan wears off, we've seen that people are going online and planning their strategies for the brick-and-mortar stores," Tatham said. "Then they go out and shop the deals Friday and the weekend."
Tatham cited a Hitwise study that found savvy
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