Cyber Monday Shopping Trends and the Millennials that Love Them
You’ve finished the cranberries and stuffing. You spent an hour answering your Aunt Mildred’s questions about your job/dog/love life. You’re in a tryptophan-induced coma. You cradled an entire bottle of wine to yourself just to get through the afternoon with your in-laws. And now your best friend is begging you to stand in line outside for an hour while you wait for a department store to open.
Welcome to Black Friday.
We all know that a little retail therapy can be fulfilling after a long day with the family, but Black Friday isn’t your average shopping day – or night. So this year, why fight the massive amounts of stay-at-home moms clawing for Barbie jeeps and crock-pots, and take a hint from the Millennials: Shop in the comfort of your own home (and in pajamas) by advantageously buying online.
Many retailers offer deals online before the stores even open. They advertise the same deals online as their in-store counterparts, however you need to be quick when ordering before your item sells out as everyone and their mothers are shopping on Black Friday.
So instead of banking on Black Friday, aim for Cyber Monday.
What is Cyber Monday?
According to the National Retail Federation, Cyber Monday is the best day to take advantage of deeply discounted items, with “85% of retailers it tracks [having] deals specific to Cyber Monday.”
Cyber Monday occurs the first Monday after Thanksgiving. It started in 2005 after Shop.org saw an increase in online shopping every year on that day. Since then, retailers have galloped with the idea, year after year, building on an already trending movement by offering consumers steeply discounted products on this day only.
Why wait until Cyber Monday?
Most retailers offer deals such as free shipping, free gifts for purchasing, bonus points on consumer loyalty programs, or increased percentages on cash back programs. Plus, you have the convenience of shopping without having to fight your way into a store. Many stores offer one-day only sales on Cyber Monday that are equal or sometimes better than the Black Friday sales. Additionally, many consumers use Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend to explore their gift options, make a list of products and prices, then take advantage of the discounts and free shipping deals by purchasing through online retailers on Cyber Monday. Keep in mind though that stores are doing anything that they can to attract the attention of shoppers. So keep an astute eye out for sales that may start on Sunday afternoon or at the strike of midnight.
Large retail outlets aren’t the only stores seeing profits from Cyber Monday. Small businesses see an uptick in online spending on this day, too. So while you’re shopping, don’t forget to check the sites of some of your local businesses to see if they are offering discounts.
So who, exactly, is doing all of this online purchasing?
Millennials. That’s who.
It’s no surprise that Millennials, above GenXers, are the heaviest of online shoppers. After all, they grew up with the Internet as second nature to them. According to the 2013 Holiday Shopper Intentions report by Google, “95% of Millennials plan to use the Internet as a holiday shopping resource, versus 87% of adults ages 35 and above.” Additionally, 88% of those Millennials will more than likely use their smartphones to purchase gifts.
So don’t be afraid to shop on your mobile devices this year – from smartphones to iPads, the online shopping industry has seen quite a jump in mobile users over the past two years. Last year, Cyber Monday mobile site sales accounted for 13% of total sales that day – twice as many as the year before.
You’ll find that many outlets have enhanced their mobile sites to meet the demands of this trend, enabling their sites for purchases while making them exceptionally user-friendly. So shop away! And those retailers that haven’t developed mobile sites would be smart to do it – and do it fast!
What is the future of Cyber Monday?
Many industry pundits believe that this could be the last big year for Cyber Monday, what with online deals starting as early as Thanksgiving day. Retailers will still offer Monday-only deals, however the spike in online spending habits on Monday specifically may begin to fade this year while consumers begin to continually purchase throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.
Quiet Logistics CEO Bruce Welty had this to say, “What’s happening now — we call it Cyber Week. It starts around Thanksgiving and goes for a week following. It’s spreading, it’s evening out and we see a big spike in shopping that week. It’s still a little bit concentrated on Monday, but every year it’s spreading out more.”
While the Cyber Monday trend continues to spread into a weekend-long extravaganza, there will always be reason enough to pinpoint specific sales to a specific day. After all, that’s what creates the marketing hype around a “sale”. So fear not, my online shoppers! Cyber Monday will be here for quite some time.