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Monday, 26 November 2012

When is Cyber Monday, and what is Cyber Monday anyway?

It's Cyber Monday today - Happy Cyber Monday! Unless you are reading this sometime in the future, in which case, unless it's exactly a multiple of one year in the future, it isn't.

What about Black Friday?

We can't talk about Cyber Monday without mentioning the preceding Friday, which is the day after thanksgiving in the US known as Black Friday, which  is traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It is believed that Black Friday first got it's name in the early 1960's  from the increase of pedestrian and vehicular traffic in Philadelphia, and once the term had become more widespread a more common explanation of the phrase was that it was the turning point when retailers would start to see a profit and therefor be "in the black". Many retailers now capitalise on the day by offering crazy pre-Christmas deals, sales and special offers for the day, and many employers extend this as an unofficial thanksgiving holiday day.

When is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is the first Monday following thanksgiving in the United States, and it appears that no-one is absolutely certain when it is in the UK; you will often hear reporters stating that it is the same as in the US, and then the news repeats itself a week later on the first Monday in December, when they realise that it was the busiest day for online sales. According to the Guardian, UK online retailers are now referring to "Cyber Monday" as the busiest internet shopping day of the year that commonly falls on the same day as the US Cyber Monday.

Where did Cyber Monday originate from?

The term Cyber Monday didn't appear until much later than Black Friday, and the phrase was first heard in November 2005, and was invented by retailers and marketeers purely to create some hype and sell more. It was recognised by many e-commerce shopping sites that the first Monday after thanksgiving was a very busy day for online sales, which I believe sowed the seed for the creation of Cyber Monday.

Is Cyber Monday the busiest day for internet sales?

Combined with the fact that people generally started to think about Christmas after the thanksgiving holiday, many using their computers from work to start their Christmas shopping online (Mondays are always a busy day for e-commerce sales), and the hype and news reports stating that Cyber Monday is to be the busiest day of the year, this soon became a self-fulfilling prophecy as online retailers slash prices and offer "Cyber Monday only special offers" this has indeed proved to be the one day in the year when the most amount of money is spent online. Whether this trend will continue and become another tradition, or disappear to obscurity only time will tell.

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