Should Cyber Monday be retired?

Discussion
Sources: Macy’s, Gap
Jan 11, 2016
Tom Ryan

In a blog post entitled, “Hello Cyber Season, goodbye Cyber Monday,” Verizon Enterprise Solutions said high-profile online selling days such as Cyber Monday and Green Monday are now behaving like typical selling days over the holiday period.

Verizon, which has been tracking broadband traffic throughout the holiday season, believes the big, publicized days are being kept alive by e-tailers. Widespread access to high-speed online connections, including via smartphones, is also changing online holiday shopping.

Traffic analysis also showed that the highest traffic patterns of the season occurred over the New Year’s weekend, indicating that the post-Christmas market is as important, if not more so, than the Black Friday weekend.

One cautionary note offered was that, since promotions began so early, many blended together, leaving consumers wondering if they were getting the best deal.

Said Michele Dupré, group VP of retail, hospitality and distribution for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, in a press release, “This season’s ‘sneak peek’ promotions in advance of Black Friday appeared to effectively entice consumers and the key is to evaluate these throughout the season to determine a winning formula for capturing wallet share.”

Other final thoughts offered on the online selling season:

“It’s now a digital world… after all”: High peaks in mobile traffic were seen on a steady basis throughout the season. Said Ms. Dupré, “As more consumers use their mobile devices to shop and make purchases, their experience from start to finish has to be easy and seamless to keep them coming back for more.”

“Deadlines are motivators — it’s that simple”: Significant spikes in volume were seen in advance of final shipping deadlines before Christmas and around time-bound Super Saturday sales. Said Ms. Dupré, “The lesson here is to take advantage of deadlines to move merchandise and target your loyal customers with promotions that suggest you understand their shopping needs.”

Do e-tailers need days like Cyber Monday to spark holiday shopping? How has the rise of mobile access altered the need for hyped online sales days?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Cyber Monday has evolved into "Cyber Week" for many retailers, just as the urgency of Black Friday has dissipated with longer hours and earlier store openings."
"Cyber Monday came into existence because people had broader-band web connections at work than they did at home. So shopping when they got into work on Monday was a great idea. Now, it makes no sense at all. Ever. Time to say bye-bye."
"Shoppers have learned that if they are patient and vigilant they can find appealing promotions that suit their needs almost anytime they want. E-tailers did it to themselves. So if they want to leverage online sale days they’ll have to learn how to control unsale days."

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20 Comments on "Should Cyber Monday be retired?"


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Max Goldberg
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

E-tailers like to spark Cyber Monday shopping as much as retailers like Black Friday, and why not? Any reason to ring the registers is welcome. The rise of mobile has not altered the need for hyped online sales. The holiday shopping season revolves around Thanksgiving and Christmas, not which device consumers are using.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

These cyber-holidays are reminders to customers and will have an impact as long as it influences their behaviors. On the other hand, mobile access makes purchase timing a non-factor. Perhaps making cyber access options for mobile users will take advantage of these two trends.

Dick Seesel
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Cyber Monday has evolved into “Cyber Week” for many retailers, just as the urgency of Black Friday has dissipated with longer hours and earlier store openings. And its importance on the promotional calendar has diminished as retailers and shippers try to push the deadline for holiday deliveries later every year. Nevertheless, the idea still has value as a way to drive sales in a very promotional online environment.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

I can shop anytime online. Any day. Any hour. While that is a great convenience, it is also a bit of a trap. That is, I can put it off time and again knowing I can do it tonight or tomorrow … and of course, put it off again.

As Michelle Dupré noted, “Deadlines are motivators.” The deal or promotion isn’t even the most important part. As we know, there will always be deals. What is important is that we do it now and not wait until tomorrow … or the next day … or the next.

Cyber Monday is one wake-up call to do it now.

Kai Clarke
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, e-tailers need days like Cyber Monday. In fact, retailers thrive on Black Friday, and the growth of additional days only increases consumer spending.

It is important to note that the “tracking of broadband traffic” which the article presents as the basis for their questions about Cyber Monday, does not reflect the amount of revenues generated during this time frame, nor does it represent the “lift” in sales dollars during this event. This type of information is a better indication of what is really happening on Cyber Monday or similar periods in the online shopping world (not simply noting that there is more traffic).

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Holiday shopping is truly a season, rather than focusing on a day. Even Black Friday is getting diluted with competing promotions. Online commerce continues to grow, of course, and retailers need to be agile to respond to whatever fads the next holiday season will bring.

J. Kent Smith
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

I think we’re going to see a very aggressive, somewhat unpredictable, highly competitive and at times guerrilla-style approach to promotion online during the 2016 holiday season — they may still have a kick-off day of sorts, but that will be more of the sounding of the starter’s pistol than an important sales day itself.

Paula Rosenblum
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Cyber Monday came into existence because people had broader-band web connections at work than they did at home. So shopping when they got into work on Monday was a great idea. Now, it makes no sense at all. Ever. Time to say bye-bye.

Tim Smith
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

A cyber day or days with hot deals early in the season are going to be more important to help ease the delivery burden the last week of the season. Consumers (me included) are becoming conditioned to wait until nearer the holiday for better deals. We could get to a point where current delivery methods and companies simply won’t be able to handle the crush. Many online ads state “Last Day to Order for Christmas Delivery is the XXth.” Site-to-store hasn’t worked for me personally due to less-than-expected experiences across several retailers and if I have to go to the store it kind of defeats a lot of the benefits of online shopping. Drones — if they prove feasible — are many years out. Imagine a sky filled with drones trying to deliver on 12/24.

Li McClelland
Guest
Li McClelland
3 years 9 months ago

Sure, every day now can be a cyber day if you want to buy things online. But the fact that the official Cyber Monday is designed to occur early in the busy shopping season is a benefit to shoppers (more likelihood that the items are in stock), retailers (better chance that any returns can be put back in circulation and that other necessary promotions can be planned) and shippers (better chance for efficient, non-emotional deliveries). Whatever can be done to entice a spread-out of all shopping activities over a month is better than last-minute chaos. Cyber Monday is a winner and needs to stay.

Tom Redd
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

First, Dupré has to re-think some of this. The digital world does not just relate to how people shop. That is the OLD digital. The new digital drive in retail is all about the core platform steps or operations that relate to running a business — from cutting POs to supply chain operations.

Next, marketers in retail usually run slower than most industries so cyber will be around as a marketing spin for awhile. These green people will never leave anything alone — so soon they will probably add Green Wednesday, etc.

Mobile access itself for shopping is an old-as-dirt topic in retail. It is done, fini, over. Online sales are the same.

So lets zero in on what is really new: how does a retailer leverage the digital technology to address what are now givens in retail (shop online, concept to product speed, etc.)?

Brian Kelly
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Define “need.”

The Monday after Thanksgiving is a natural day on the holiday calendar to drive sales regardless of channel. Mobile has altered consumer behavior and so this date won’t be the spike it was in the past. But it will remain important to protect.

If mobile means a smaller CAP, then purchase frequency needs to go up to maintain share of spend. Perhaps it is a place for a Thanksgiving Day weekend “bounce back” activated on Cyber Monday.

If Cyber Monday means a customer is in desktop mode, then perhaps different categories should be touted to activate the “at-work” behavior.

Now that the holiday calendar is officially two months, the period from Halloween to Veterans Day takes on greater significance. Depending upon where Thanksgiving Day falls, all of November needs to be sorted accordingly.

Or in a 4-5-4 world, retail ain’t for sissies!

Cathy Hotka
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

LOL. It’s about time.

The idea of Cyber Monday is predicated on the idea that people will wait to get to the office before shopping, which is pretty hilarious considering that nearly everyone carries a high-powered computer in his/her pocket at all times….

Dan Frechtling
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Cyber Monday began organically, but lives artificially.

When it was coined in 2005 by Shop.org, shoppers were insecure about the internet. They needed to see items in-store before they bought them online and needed high speed work connections to transact.

Today, Cyber Monday is kept alive by promotions. The peak buying time last year was after work at 9:40 pm ET. High-speed connections are at home and in your pocket. Cyber Monday is in the top 10 of online shopping, that’s all.

The only reason Cyber Monday is growing is because all online buying is growing. From the commercial perspective, it’s great. From the societal perspective, shopping holidays are better for things that need reminding, like local, sustainable, patriotic, and philanthropic buying.

Gajendra Ratnavel
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Using Internet traffic data without understanding the data intimately is dangerous. This traffic may be captured at a very high level, like from people looking for product help after the New Year, or return policies, etc.

If this is tracking the traffic to certain sites, I would seriously not use this data the way they are in this article. Instead retailers should correlate this data with their own sales or just use their own sales/traffic information on actual purchases.

Cyber Monday promotion is needed because there are still lots of consumers that expect a saving or deal on this day and wait to spend money that day.

Joan Treistman
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Consumers don’t need Cyber Monday to get great deals. So it appears that e-tailers have diluted their intended spikes in sales with other promotions. Shoppers have learned that if they are patient and vigilant they can find appealing promotions that suit their needs almost anytime they want. E-tailers did it to themselves. So if they want to leverage online sale days they’ll have to learn how to control unsale days.

Ross Ely
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

The key for retailer success is to promote both online and offline shopping. E-commerce will not replace physical stores, and retailers should create excitement for both their online and brick-and-mortar stores. Events and happenings such as Cyber Monday and special online sales will continue to be effective for retailers, just as special sales and events will work well in their physical stores.

Kenneth Leung
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

The ability to shop anytime, anywhere on any device also empowers the procrastinators to wait until last minute during the holidays, thus putting stress on the supply chain. Anything to push up the shopping and drive immediate action also has the effect to alleviating last minute pressure on the delivery system. As Ms Dupre points out, deadlines drive action, the earlier the action, the better for retailers.

Arie Shpanya
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Cyber Monday is just a reminder to shop that many online retailers take part in. It doesn’t need to be that particular day anymore since consumers can be online pretty much 24/7. Mobile has made it possible to have more frequent online sales. It’s much easier for consumers to make purchases, so it’s just a matter of convincing them to check out.

Christopher P. Ramey
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Never kill a reasonable narrative. Retailers need “stories to tell” to incent traffic. There will always be a Cyber Monday because that’s how we think, merchandise, market and brand.

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Braintrust
"Cyber Monday has evolved into "Cyber Week" for many retailers, just as the urgency of Black Friday has dissipated with longer hours and earlier store openings."
"Cyber Monday came into existence because people had broader-band web connections at work than they did at home. So shopping when they got into work on Monday was a great idea. Now, it makes no sense at all. Ever. Time to say bye-bye."
"Shoppers have learned that if they are patient and vigilant they can find appealing promotions that suit their needs almost anytime they want. E-tailers did it to themselves. So if they want to leverage online sale days they’ll have to learn how to control unsale days."

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