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  • Let The Cyber Monday Sales Begin

    [caption id="attachment_4914" align="alignleft" width="219" caption="Cyber Monday "]Monday[/caption]

    If you're not into waking up at 3am, camping outside WalMart and waiting for the sales to begin, then join the club. Luckily for those who prefer to online shop, stores have created Cyber Monday, the first Monday (today) after Thanksgiving that lets customers buy online with huge savings and deals. Claire Cane Miller of The New York Times discusses Cyber Monday further in her article A Shopping Day Invented for the Web Comes of Age:

    Cyber Monday might have started as a made-up holiday to give underdog e-commerce sites jealous of Black Friday a day of their own, but it has become an undeniably real thing — surprising even the people who invented it.

    Last year, for the first time, the Monday after Thanksgiving was the biggest online shopping day of the year by sales, and the first day ever that online spending passed $1 billion, according to comScore, a research company that measures Web use.

    This year, with a record-breaking Black Friday — shoppers spent $816 million online, 26 percent more than last year, in addition to spending more offline — online retailers are gearing up for Monday to once again be their best of the season.

    Seventy-eight percent are offering promotions, according to Shop.org, an industry group. Almost half will offer discounts, while 38 percent will run limited-time flash sales and a third will have free shipping.

    “It’s going to be up there again, no doubt,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore and an e-commerce expert.

    “We were all surprised last year when we saw it turned out to be the biggest day of the season,” he said. “But more and more retailers have become a part of the Cyber Monday kickoff, more and more consumers are aware of it and know there are special deals coming — and you put that together and you’ve got an important day.”

    The Monday after Thanksgiving was Amazon.com’s busiest day for the first time last year, when it sold 13.7 million items. Previously, the busiest day fell in mid-December on the last day Amazon offered free shipping in time for Christmas.

    The day was also the biggest last year for LivingSocial, the daily deal site, and for PayPal, which saw a 19 percent increase in online payment volume over the year before.

    Many retailers have such high hopes for the day that they are trying to expand it. Toys “R” Us offered Cyber Monday deals on Sunday night, and will continue them through the week. West Elm began its promotion last Wednesday, and Target went so far as to offer Cyber Monday deals in September.

    Still, there are naysayers who view the day as more hype than reality. At Blue Nile, the online jeweler, the last day for free shipping by Christmas remains the biggest sales day, said Mark Vadon, Blue Nile’s chairman.

    “The majority of consumers are procrastinators and they’ll wait as long as they can,” he said. “Cyber Monday is the start of the wave, not the top of the wave.”

    Read more at The New York Times

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