INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 30, 2015) – The first Monday after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, is expected to be one of the biggest online holiday shopping days of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, 184 million Americans will be shopping online today.
After preliminary Black Friday numbers came in below forecast, the stores may indeed need a digital boost at the beginning of the week. Experts say millions of people are swapping from the long lines and packed malls for websites and apps on their phone.
“It’s not worth calling it e-commerce anymore, it’s just ‘commerce’” said John Talbott, Associate Director of Indiana University’s Center for Education and Research in Retailing. “We’ve moved from a situation where we’ve had a very bifurcated retail structure of ‘brick and mortar’ people and they hated e-commerce, and e-commerce never owned stores.”
Cyber Monday was originally created ten years ago by the Federation to promote online sales.
“People went back to work and had broadband internet connections [there] and could buy gifts more easily than at home,” said John Talbott, Associate Director of Indiana University’s Center for Education and Research in Retailing. “All of the major ‘brick and mortar’ retailers traditional retailers like Macy’s, Kohl’s and Wal-Mart all have websites that are their most important single location…so it’s sort of an evolution that’s occurred.”
More sales on Cyber Monday, Talbott added, is just a natural progression.
“Retailers have evolved from thinking about themselves as a store, to thinking about themselves as a way for us to get the things that we want,” he said. “And they’ll figure out the appropriate mechanisms to have them do that.”
Holiday sales are spreading throughout the month, all the way up to minutes before Christmas. The sluggish start to the holiday season may mean better deals closer to the holiday, both online and in stores.
Experts are projecting about $3 billion to be spent on Cyber Monday, potentially leaving days like Black Friday in the digital dust.
“Black Friday will always be around,” said Talbott. “It may be that as we’re seeing a bigger proportion of Black Friday sales are taking place via digital mechanism, but absolutely it will always be around.”
One of the biggest mistakes customers make is believing that the best deals are offered on Black Friday. Many stores wait until the week before Christmas to offer the deepest discounts.