Next Monday, November 26th, will be one of the busiest days of the year for e-commerce. It’s called “Cyber Monday”; the first day back at the office after the Thanksgiving break, when U.S. citizens blow-off the work they should be doing in favor of buying holiday gifts online. While it may be the worst possible news for your company’s productivity, Cyber Monday is great for online retail.
No coincidence, then, that like “Black Friday” — the day-after-Thanksgiving packaged goods consumption orgy that finds Americans flooding into shopping malls en mass, putting retailers “in the black,” so to say — the term “Cyber Monday” is actively promoted by the National Retail Federation (see also Shop.org). They’ve even dedicated a website, CyberMonday.com, to helping coupon code-clippers find the best deals online.
“The 5.03% holiday growth forecast is a full percentage point higher than the forecast of the National Retail Federation, but represents a large drop in optimism among retail CMOs when you consider this same group of professionals predicted 7.8% growth for the 2006 holiday season,” [said Al] Ferrara, a Partner in the Retail and Consumer Product Practice at BDO Seidman.
Just over half of the CMO’s polled are predicting a flat holiday season, while 41% expect to see some growth over last year. But time will tell, and these numbers rely heavily on the gut-feeling of Chief Marketing Officers; a naturally self-assured breed, whose average job lifespan remains significantly shorter than the gestation period of a baby elephant.
What do you think? Is Cyber Monday here to stay, or has its past impact had more to do with something like broadband adoption (i.e., people doing their online shopping at work because they don’t have Web access at home) than the birth of a lasting trend?
Any e-tailers out there running special promotions for Cyber Monday?
UPDATE: The ExpertSEM blog explains some research showing that “Cyber Monday” is really just the starting point in a four-week series of happy Mondays for e-commerce.