“Black Friday” has traditionally marked the start to a frenzied holiday shopping season in malls and stores across the US. Recently, consumer and retailer attention has been shifting from the traditional Friday after Thanksgiving to the following Monday. Not only has the day of the week changed; as more and more consumers have turned online to shop throughout the year, holiday shopping trends have also shifted in this direction as well.

Entitled “Cyber Monday” by the National Retail Association, this special Monday marks the first big online-shopping surge for merchants. Online retailers have responded to the occasion by hosting one-day sales events as well as by offering special promotions. As market trends has dictated growth from recent years, 2007’s Cyber Monday succeeded in topping the record high for online shopping in a single day, with a total of $733 million reported revenue made online (comparison). According to a Reuters report, “Cyber Monday traffic increased 26% in 2007 as compared to 2006” (www.reuters.com). ComScore added that the number of Cyber Monday 2007 online buyers increased 38% compared to online traffic stats from 2006 (www.comscore.com). ComScore measured an 84% jump from the daily online spending totals, calculated from the preceding four weeks.

Online retailers are aggressively capitalizing on the influx of consumer attention in online shopping on Cyber Monday. In the article, Online Holiday Shopping Season Kicks Off, www.npr.com reports, the number of retailers hosting online deals on Cyber Monday has surged to 72% from 42% in just two years (www.ap.google.com). Executive director of Shop.org describes, “the number of retailers offering free shipping with no conditions, such as a minimum purchase, has jumped to 41.4 percent from 36 percent last year” (www.ap.google.com) Amazon.com headed the race in terms of where consumers are shopping online, being named 2007’s Top Website on Cyber Monday. Amazon.com received an impressive 10 percent of the traffic out of the Top 100 retail websites. Compartmental and Target.com came in as second and third in terms of traffic ratings (www.reuters.com). The Nintendo Wii was the top product purchased this Cyber Monday, being sold at a premium online (www.comparisonengines.com).

Chitika.com sustained these Cyber Monday market trends, using yearly traffic growth statistics, reporting 25% increase in traffic between Cyber Monday, November 26th, 2007, and the preceding Monday, November 19th, 2007. Compared to 2006 in which Chitika reported a 13% increase between Cyber Monday November 27th, 2006 and the preceding Monday November 20th, 2006. Black Friday is clearly being phased out by its online counterpart. The numbers and trends tell it like it is; perhaps next year consumers will spend the Friday after Thanksgiving away from malls and instead spend the following Monday shopping with eMiniMalls. Furthermore, why stand in lines when we have Linx!

By Tessa Rudd -Account Executive – Advertising Media Division, Chitika Inc.