The History Of Cyber Monday Is As Commercial As You Think
Now that you've shopped 'til you dropped all Thanksgiving weekend, what do you have left to do? Do some more shopping, of course.
Today is the Monday after Thanksgiving, and you know what that means. It's Cyber Monday, y'all. Whether you chose to actually shop your little heart out in physical stores on Black Friday or prefer to do your shopping digitally, today is your day to score some big deals while shopping in your pajamas from the comfort of your own home.
But how did we get here? Since the Internet and e-commerce are fairly recent inventions in our culture, Cyber Monday has accordingly not been around for that long. Yet, you have to admit that it's pretty impressive how this phenomena was able to permeate our culture so strongly in such a short amount of time.
Unsurprisingly, Cyber Monday is a ritual that was created by Shop.org, the National Retail Federation's digital retail division. Shop.org coined the phrase and first used it in a press release in 2005 detailing how "Cyber Monday" was becoming one of the biggest shopping days of the year. It appeared that when consumers returned to work the Monday after Thanksgiving, instead of catching up on all of the tasks that needed to be completed after the holiday, they would instead start or continue their holiday shopping online in their cubicles while simultaneously fearing their boss' glance over their shoulders.
Fast-forward to the early 2010s, and it looked like the United States had Cyber Monday fever. Cyber Monday sales kept breaking records year after year. It topped itself in 2013, becoming the biggest online shopping day in history with sales that increased 20.6 percent from the previous year.
While your inbox was probably flooded with some sweet deals today, Cyber Monday may actually be on the decline. In 2012, data from IBM showed that Cyber Monday's growth rate had been slowing. More than 126 million consumers are expected to shop during Cyber Monday this year, which sounds like a heck of a lot of people, but that number is actually slightly down from the 131.6 million that shopped during Cyber Monday in 2013, according to the National Retail Federation. Some researchers believe there may even come a time when Cyber Monday is no more. EDITD, a retail analytics provider, recently found that the rapid increase of discounts after national holidays is waning. With retailers starting their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales earlier and earlier every holiday season, that means we may not just be seeing huge spikes in sales during just these two times of the year.
Since today is Cyber Monday, it's of course too early to tell how successful the day will be in terms of sales. However, with a 5.2 percent drop in shopper traffic from 2013 during Thanksgiving weekend, retailers are definitely hoping their Cyber Monday sales make up for that.