Cyber Monday may be in danger of losing its online sales title. The Monday after Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest online shopping day of the year, but stores are releasing internet deals earlier, stretching them through the week, as well as making them available in stores. Shopperslooking for discounts spurred online sales on Black Friday to a new high.
During the holiday shopping weekend that kicks off on Thanksgiving and the day afterward known as Black Friday, more and more shoppers decide to skip the mayhem in stores and buy online. Consumers spent $3.34 billion shopping online on Friday, a 21.6% increase from the same day last year, according to Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks online retail transactions.
Online sales have also been stretching out more and more. Cartwheel, Target’s digital app, started offering holiday deals including 50% off one toy per day on November 1. Amazon started offering 35 days of Black Friday deals on November 16. And Walmart kicked off its Cyber Monday deals at 12:01 am. EST Friday for the first time as it aimed to grab customers ahead of its competitors.
Lea Bishop shops online starting on Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, but this year found many retailers had extensive pre-Black Friday deals. She found an iPad at Bestbuy.com for $625, at $150 off during the week before Thanksgiving. To Bishop, the convenience of online shopping is worth more than finding the best deal.
“It may not be the exact lowest price but it was a really good deal,” she said. “You kind of have to weigh the ‘get up early, stand in line and hope to be the first person there’ with the ‘Oh I can go buy it now,’ even though it may be a little bit more expensive,” she said.
Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving, has typically been the busiest day of the year for online shopping. The phrase was coined in 2005 to encourage online buying when people returned to offices where they had high-speed internet connections.
The term is still used to promote heavy discounts online, even though most people now have constant access to the web via their phones and computers. ComScore expects mobile sales to make up 20% of online sales for the first time this year, and Adobe said mobile purchases surged 33% on Black Friday to $1.2 billion.
“Thanksgiving has become the new Cyber Monday,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Technology Association. Out of the estimated 135.9 million US adults who shopped this past week, 35% did so by phone and tablet, an increase from a 28% share last year, according to the trade group’s survey.
Promotions have changed in response to buying patterns. Instead of door-buster markdowns on a select few products, retailers are shifting to a stream of discounts and alerts during the entire week via email and social media.