Don’t count the holiday shopping deals as over yet; it’s Cyber Monday

David Wells, Junior Marketing Specialist/ Photographer

If you are an avid online shopper, you’ve probably heard about Cyber Monday, or at least see it splashed across the subject lines of emails from your favorite stores. Cyber Monday falls on the Monday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and refers to an online shopping day on which stores offer great online deals and discounts. A shopper who saw his or her favorite gifts in the stores over the weekend, but didn’t wake up early enough to snag one, can hit online sites to place their holiday orders – without all the lines and maybe even with free shipping.

While Black Friday allows stores to generate millions of dollars from the crazy amount of shoppers that bombard their stores, major retailers recently began to acknowledge the online shopping habits of their customers to get the real boost in revenue on Cyber Monday.

According to comScore, Inc. – a global leader in measuring the digital world – last year Cyber Monday alone generated $887 million, a five percent increase from 2008, and a number that matched the heaviest online shopping day ever- December 8, 2008. Since 2005, online shopping on Cyber Monday has increased over $425 million.

What’s funny about this, at least to me, is that 52.7 percent of Cyber Monday shopping was from work computers, a gain of 2.3 percentage points from the previous year. According to CareerBuilder, employers lost $580 million in productivity on Cyber Monday in 2008. They estimate that 43 percent planning to shop on Cyber Monday will spend at least one hour doing so from their workplace computer.

Some companies believe this is a moot point to try to stop employees from shopping from work, and some even encourage it. Employers would rather let an employee shop from their computer for an hour, then spend an extra long lunch break fighting the shopping crowds and traffic in the stores. Also, some employers believe it improves morale in the workplace by allowing employees to spend a little work time for personal use.

Online shopping and e-commerce sites have only been around since the mid 1990s and rapidly continue to grow. E-commerce and online sales sold more than $160 billion worth of merchandise in 2009.

We’ll have to wait and see if the trend for online shopping continues to grow this year as more and more consumers utilize new technologies and the Internet. This year, will the greatest volume of Cyber Monday shopping come from smartphones? Enough about the numbers, time to shop!

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