Cyber Monday 2011 is November 28th. It always falls the Monday after Black Friday, directly following Thanksgiving Day. Just as Black Friday is the kickoff for traditional Christmas shopping at the mall, Cyber Monday is the kickoff for - you guessed it - online Christmas shopping! Whereas people have traditionally hit shopping centers the morning immediately after Thanksgiving to snap up Black Friday deals, it seems more and more people are enjoying a sleep-in and opting to order gifts online the following Monday.
So where did the term “Cyber Monday” come from, and what started the phenomenon? According to the National Retail Federation, Shop.org coined the term “Cyber Monday” to explain a trend toward online shopping the Monday after Thanksgiving. Traditionally, Black Friday has been the main shopping day of the Thanksgiving holiday. Renowned as the day that shoppers descend on department stores and retailers to snag the best bargains on everything from white goods and electronics to kid’s toys and hosiery, for many years, Black Friday has been the best way to buy inexpensive Christmas gifts.
In these tight financial times, Black Friday has been the only day that budget conscious shoppers could feel good about splurging a little. That was until people discovered the wonder that is online shopping! It has been found that more and more people are waiting to do their online shopping from work on Monday after Thanksgiving. It seems Cyber Monday is a great alternative to waiting in the cold outside department stores on Friday morning, and shopping online from work makes it a less than clandestine operation to buy gifts for family, since you don’t need to worry about your spouse or inquisitive children looking over your shoulder while you shop online for cyber Monday gifts. Ordering online instead of buying in-store is also a brilliant solution to the problem of having to hide shopping bags when you come home from the mall.
After a day of lying around eating turkey and watching football, it’s nice to get out of the house and get the heart rate back up, but Black Friday crowds can be brutal and the “door-buster” bargains have been snatched up at 5am by people more zealous than you anyway. So stay in bed on Friday morning - when’s the last time you got to sleep in on a weekday anyway? It’s really more convenient all around to take advantage of Cyber Monday, and many stores have Cyber Monday specials that aren’t even available on Black Friday. We like the idea of sitting back with a cup of coffee, not being hassled by shop assistants or elbowed out of the way by competitive “alpha-shoppers”.
You might be thinking - isn’t Monday a workday? You need money to buy stuff, and you need a job to get money. Something doesn’t add up. People must be spending company time to shop online! Uh huh! According to the National Retail Federation, Shop.org predicted last year that over half of workers with Internet access, or 70.1 million people, would shop for holiday gifts from the office on Cyber Monday. Says something for the allure of a good deal, but it might also be a comment on society’s priorities. It seems people are choosing new shoes or the latest Wii Fit over finishing that report that was due on, well let’s face it, probably Black Friday.
According to the National Retail Federation’s report, Phil Rist of the company BIGresearch, claims that “Businesses understand that Americans’ work and personal lives are merging, and would rather have employees shopping online at work than driving all over town during their lunch hour looking for the perfect gift.” At least they’re not spending those hours of company time playing Tetris, right?
Cyber Monday gets bigger every year, and as online shopping becomes the norm for more and more people, the question begs to be asked – will Black Friday become obsolete as a shopping day? It doesn’t seem likely now, considering the sheer chaos that still ensues at department stores across the nation, but as people become more tech savvy, and less hardy to the elements, perhaps Black Friday’s glory days are numbered.
There’s no doubt that Cyber Monday is making the streets on Black Friday slightly more subdued each year. After all, why don the scarf and mittens and battle it out on Friday for a great deal on the newest Tickle Me Elmo or that pair of killer mary-janes, when you can get into the office a little early on Monday, sit at your desk with the air-conditioning set at 72, and surf the web for the same deals? But don’t underestimate the thrill of the chase when it comes to retail therapy. Just because you can’t see the fevered faces of shopaholics clutching their purses and shopping lists at the mall on Friday, doesn’t mean that behind half the work computers in America, the same faces aren’t staring into a computer screen come Monday, in search of the “big one”.
We love our Red Envelope Cyber Monday sales. Everything on the site is perfect for gifting at Christmas and Hanukah, and since we do all of our business online throughout the year, our Thanksgiving deals are genuine deals. Shop online with RedEnvelope on Cyber Monday 2011 (November 28th), and avoid the crowds and chaos. Take your laptop to bed with you and peruse our catalog in advance, in your pajamas. Browse the deals at your own pace, so not to miss important people on your list.
When shopping for Red Envelope Cyber Monday deals, leave nothing to chance. We know how much fun can be had browsing pages of home décor, adorable kids apparel, luxurious leather goods and funky gadgets with reckless abandon, but you’d do well to have a game plan. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get carried away for hours online, giddy with excitement from so many great deals, only to log off at the end of Cyber Monday, having forgotten to buy gifts for a few important people. Avoid this predicament simply, by preparing a list of people and gift types.
Love it or hate it, the Thanksgiving period is still the best time to shop for holiday gifts for everyone on your list, and seemingly a natural extension of Black Friday, Cyber Monday is the answer to the growing demands of a WiFi-enabled population of consumers and gift givers. So you needn’t “shop till you drop” anymore - just till your mouse hand starts cramping.