Getting Ready for Cyber Monday
If you were trying to pick the most blatantly commercial event on the U.S. calendar, you would be hard pressed to come up with anything to rival Cyber Monday. Coined in a 2005 press release by Shop.org, Cyber Monday has quickly become part of e-commerce folklore, accounting for almost $1.5 billion in sales in 2012 alone.
Loved by online retailers and hated by bosses because of distracted, web-surfing employees, Cyber Monday’s popularity continues to soar, even as brick-and-mortar stores do everything they can to extend Black Friday shopping back into Thanksgiving Day itself.
And it’s the sheer craziness surrounding Black Friday that has a lot to do with the increased appeal of Cyber Monday. According to a new Lippe Taylor/SheSpeaks survey, over half of all women across the United States say they plan to start their Holiday gift buying on Cyber Monday so they can avoid the Black Friday crowds.
Fueling the growth of Cyber Monday is an array of online shopping tools, including apps and social networks. In the Lippe Taylor survey, 41 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers will be using coupon apps, 38 percent will be using retailer apps, and almost half (49 per cent) will be checking Facebook for bargains and gift ideas.
Amazon, the king of online retailers, is naturally leading the way with the Amazon mobile app and Price Check (iOS, Android), a comparison app that lets in-store shoppers know if they can get a better deal with Amazon. Other tried and trusted apps include TheFind (iOS, Android), a shopping search engine that integrates with your personal preferences on Facebook, Gift It (iOS), a Christmas shopping list app, and TGI Cyber Monday (iOS, Android), which lets you browse more than 500,000 Cyber Monday deals from over 100 top retailers.
But it’s also the easy accessibility of special offers and coupons that is helping to make Cyber Monday such a big success. Store apps are frantically pushing discounts and loyalty points as a way to hang on to their existing customers, and, if you do venture outside, location-based apps use GPS tracking to present a stream of daily deals from neighborhood businesses.
So if you’re sitting at home this Thanksgiving watching news reports of the chaotic scenes at the local mall, you can be forgiven for flashing a contented smile. The real fun begins on Cyber Monday and you don’t even have to leave your living room!