Cyber Monday is Not the E-commerce Holy Grail

According to comScore, the top 10 e-commerce spending days in 2010 and 2009 all occurred in November and December. With the holiday season in full swing during those months, that’s probably not a huge surprise.

What is surprising, though, is that Cyber Monday – generally perceived as THE day for online retailers – isn’t actually the biggest spending day of the year. In fact, in 2010, Cyber Monday wasn’t even in the top 10 spending days.


So, what does Cyber Monday’s “fall from grace” mean for online retailers?

  1. Cyber Monday saw $947 million in sales. That’s a lot of money. The fact that at least 10 other days saw more money means, simply, that there is a lot of cash that consumers are willing to spend online during the holidays. Make sure you’re taking advantage with a marketing plan that caters to the entire season, not just Cyber Monday.
  2. In 2010, six days hit the $1 billion mark. Time email campaigns, PPC campaigns, shipping speicals, and coupon / promo code deals around big spending days. The stats prove that more people are shopping and buying online during these days anyway, so capitalize on that and make sure they’re spending some of their money with you. On a side note, projections indicate that in 2011, the number of days that will hit the $1 billion mark will grow to nine.
  3. The recent explosion in usage of mobile devices has also changed the Cyber Monday game. With the advent of couch commerce (yes, it’s happening), people can sprawl out on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner, watch the football game, and shop online via their tablet or smartphone. Note that Thanksgiving Day saw $355 million in sales last year, and expect that number to grow in 2011. Ultimately, the more shopping people get done from the couch after Thanksgiving dinner, the less shopping they’ll have left for Cyber Monday. So, if you don’t already, make sure you have a mobile-ready website for the holidays (and any other time of year, really).

The numbers speak volumes. The fact that Cyber Monday is no longer the e-commerce holy grail should not be in question. What should be in question, though, is this: Is your e-commerce website keeping up with the changing holiday-season demands of consumers? If not, you’re potentially missing out on a lot of sales and revenue.

NOTE: Data in the calendar is provided by the MasterCard SpendingPulse 2010 Actuals.


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