Get ready for Cyber Monday - you know, that bald attempt to part you with more of your money by dangling Internet-only deals that are slightly different than those deals you just read about as Black Friday approached.
With shoppers doing increasing amounts of day-after-Thanksgiving shopping online, do we really need a separate day devoted to sales on the Web?
(How Webby was Black Friday? Wal-Mart's site was down most of the day, disrupted by more traffic than anticipated. The Walt Disney site also buckled under unexpected business.)
The Boston Globe reports that nearly half of consumers plan to buy something online this holiday season, up from 36 percent three years ago, according to a report last month by the National Retail Federation, a Washington, D.C., trade group. The Globe writes:
Moreover, customers who shop both online and at bricks-and-mortar stores are more valuable to merchants, spending about 50 percent more than customers who shop only in stores, said Erika Serow, a retail analyst at Bain & Co.
If any opportunity to shop is as welcome as a holiday, here are some places to celebrate. They come courtesy of Top Ten Sources:
CyberMonday.com is where nearly 400 retailers post holiday promotions.
Stylefeed is where you can go to keep track of all your online shopping needs - deals, wish lists, gift lists.
Families.com suggests a couple sites that will do the cyber-shopping for you.
Finally, Penn's Language Log hunts and gathers the history of Cyber Monday - they credit Shop.org for the "brazenly cynical coinage." They have determined what I only suspected:
The idea was to make "Cyber Monday" a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, boosting online sales on a day that had previously ranked as only the twelfth busiest on the shopping calendar.
They sift through conflicting reports of just how successful Cyber Monday was last year. The conclusion suggests Penn's Benjamin Zimmer is reading my mail:
Perhaps writing about Cyber Monday helps fill the post-Thanksgiving lull in the news cycle, and it's an easy followup to the boilerplate "Black Friday" shopping stories. I would also expect online retailers to continue transforming Cyber Monday into a legitimate shopping event by offering all sorts of sales and promotions for the Monday after Thanksgiving. It could take another year or two, but the self-fulfilling marketing prophecy of Cyber Monday might still come to pass.