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Black Friday, Cyber Monday?

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday November 23, 2006 )

What is Cyber Monday?

In the more civilized world of online shopping, it’s the first Monday after Black Friday. Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday signals the start of the online holiday shopping season. In the tradition of Black Friday, many online retailers begin their holiday sales campaigns on this day, offering heavily discounted prices.

Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines and whether you’re a bricks and mortar store or an online merchant, good luck for the silly season ahead.

Pick up some Xmas marketing tips.

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What is Black Friday in the online world – is it bad? And what’s Cyber Monday? This post is mainly for my non-USA readers who might be relatively new to online business.

Have you noticed changes in your traffic right at this moment? It’s about 3am USA Eastern time and things “feel” quieter than usual at this time of the day. The reason is probably that it’s Thanksgiving morning, a public holiday in the USA and an important celebration in their calendar.

Thanksgiving is followed by two very important days in USA retail, both online and offline – Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday.

What is Black Friday?

It’s the day after Thanksgiving in the United States and one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It’s known as the first day of the holiday shopping season; although the holiday shopping season really begins earlier according to recent research.

Bricks and mortar stores go nuts and have all sorts of sales which attract many, many (and sometimes equally nutty) customers. If your online sales should suddenly drop off tomorrow, don’t be too concerned – you might even find they pick back up towards the end of the day as people return from their bricks and mortar shopping frenzy.

Given some of the data I’ve looked at, I do believe that as many people get sick of going into the fray in the physical world on this day each year, they’ll increasing turn to the web to pick up bargains on Black Friday.. and some savvy online merchants are responding to this.

By the way, Black Friday is supposedly not *the* busiest day of the year in sales volume in the USA offline retail world – that’s usually the the weekend before Christmas, Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas.

How did Black Friday get its name?

Nobody knows for sure, but there’s two theories.

a) When a business isn’t doing well, it’s considered in accounting lingo to be in the “red”. When it’s turning a profit, it’s in the “black”. Given the huge amount of sales activity on this particular Friday each year, many businesses climb out of the “red” and into the “black”

b) Cynical staff :). I like this theory better. Imagine you’re working in a major store with a huge sale going on. It’s nearly opening time. The unwashed masses are pushed up against the door waiting for them to slide open. They are slobbering, pushing and cursing at each other, vying for a front line position so they can buy that plasma TV at a heavily discounted price. Brrrr.. yep, I can understand store staff referring to it as Black Friday.

What is Cyber Monday?

In the more civilized world of online shopping, it’s the first Monday after Black Friday. Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday signals the start of the online holiday shopping season. In the tradition of Black Friday, many online retailers begin their holiday sales campaigns on this day, offering heavily discounted prices.

Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines and whether you’re a bricks and mortar store or an online merchant, good luck for the silly season ahead.

Pick up some Xmas marketing tips.



 

 
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